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Feasibility of developing children’s Pill School within a UK hospital
  1. Asia N Rashed1,2,
  2. David Terry3,
  3. Andy Fox4,
  4. Nanna Christiansen2,
  5. Stephen Tomlin5
  1. 1 Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London, London, London, UK
  2. 2 Evelina Pharmacy, Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, London, UK
  3. 3 Academic Practice Unit, Life & Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  4. 4 Pharmacy, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, Southampton, UK
  5. 5 Pharmacy, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Asia N Rashed, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London, London SE1 9NH, UK; asia.rashed{at}


Objective We assessed the feasibility of introducing an intervention (children’s Pill School—PS) within a UK hospital to provide swallowing training for children, identified the proportion of children who can be switched from oral liquid medicines to pills and assessed children/parents’ opinions about the PS training.

Methods 30 inpatient children (aged 3–18 years; taking oral liquid medicines; their liquid medications assessed suitable for switching to pills; can (and their parents) speak/understand English were included. Training sessions were delivered using hard sweets of different sizes.

Results 87% (26) of children successfully learnt how to swallow pills after one training session (mean duration 14.5 min), and 92% (24) were discharged on pills. 75 prescribed oral liquid medications were deemed suitable for switching to pills. Of these, 89% (67) were switched successfully.

Conclusion Children as young as 3 years were successful in swallowing pills after training. Providing children PS training session within hospital is feasible and acceptable to children and their parents.

  • health services research
  • pharmacology
  • therapeutics

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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  • Contributors ANR, ST, DT and AF developed the concept and design of the study. ANR is responsible for study, follow-up calls and data collection, data management and statistical analysis. ANR drafted the manuscript. ST, DT and NC critically reviewed the manuscript draft.

  • Funding This study is funded by the Pharmacy Research UK (PRUK) and supported by the Evelina London Children’s hospital (grant number: PRUK-2016-PG3-2-A).

  • Competing interests ANR was funded by the PRUK. ST and DT received fund for their contribution on the project.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.