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The KidzMed project: teaching children to swallow tablet medication
  1. Yincent Tse1,2,
  2. Nicola Vasey3,
  3. Damneek Dua2,
  4. Susan Oliver3,
  5. Victoria Emmet1,
  6. Ailsa Pickering4,
  7. Emma Lim4,5
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Nephrology, Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2 Newcastle University Medical School, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  3. 3 Department of Paediatric Pharmacy, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  4. 4 Department of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  5. 5 Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yincent Tse, Department of Paediatric Nephrology, Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK; yincent{at}


Tablets are safer, more convenient and cheaper than liquid medications. Children and young people (CYP) often remain on liquids due to habit, reluctance to change or staff and parents’ lack of knowledge about switching to tablets. We describe a quality improvement project to train staff and embed a system of converting eligible children to tablet medication. A series of tests of change were made including training, making kit available, publicity and developing team protocols. In 3 months, 21 out of 25 eligible CYP were successfully converted with added benefit of saving £46 588 per year. Switching children to tablets is simple but requires whole team engagement, culture change of expectations and available resources.

  • liquid medication
  • patient safety
  • quality improvement

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  • Twitter @YincentTse, @nicola_vasey, @ejlim8

  • Contributors YT and NV obtained funding for KidzMed project to support multimedia material, consumables and SO. YT supervised DD who is a Newcastle University medical student on Student Selected Component module. EL and AP have been teaching pill swallowing for many years and taught >100 clinicians to teach children to swallow tablets. DD helped with much of the practical QI work in clinic. DD and SO performed family interviews and collected data. All authors contributed to setting up, spreading and embedding this project and subsequently approved this article.

  • Funding This work is part of the KidzMed Medication Project which is kindly supported by a quality improvement grant from Great North Children’s Foundation (UK charity registration 1057213) and the Patient Safety Collaborative of Academic Health Science Network (North East and North Cumbria).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request.