FOI Request Final Response 24409
‘How many prescription items for anti depressants were given to patients in Kent for each of the following financial years: 2021-22 to date, 2020-21, 2019-20, 2018-19 and 2017-18?
How many prescription items were issued for anti depressants to patients under the age of 18 in Kent for the financial years: 2021-22 to date, 2020-21, 2019-20, 2018-19 and 2017-18?
Where possible – how young was the youngest patient to be prescribed anti depressant medication during the financial years stated above?’
On 26 June 2022 you clarified your request as follows
‘Kent and Medway STP area please Youngest patient in Kent and separately – the youngest patient in England as well’
This request asks for the youngest patient in England and in NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board being prescribed antidepressant drugs. The data we hold shows that children aged between 0 and 1 years old were prescribed antidepressant drugs. However, there are some quality issues with the data held by the NHSBSA. These are explained in the response below.
A copy of the information is attached. Please read the below notes to ensure correct understanding of the data.
Patient ages are based on the age as captured from the prescription image and relates to the patient's age at the time of prescribing/dispensing.
NHS Prescription Services have a variety of validation streams throughout prescription processing to support accurate capture of the data. In addition, a retrospective sample is completed in the month following reimbursement to identify the accuracy of prescription processing information. The check includes the accuracy of prescriber, practice and drug information, but does not include the personal details of the patient. The information is used to populate a number of Key Performance Indicators, the results of which are published on a monthly basis on the NHSBSA website at:
NHSBSA stores information on the age of the recipient of each prescription as it was read by computer from images of paper prescriptions or as attached to messages sent through the electronic prescription system.
The NHSBSA does not validate, verify or manually check the resulting information as part of the routine prescription processing. However an additional check is carried out on a yearly basis to check the capture rate and accuracy of the stored patient information. The results of this check for the most recent time period available (January 2020 to December 2020) show that for both paper and electronic prescriptions patient age was captured from 94.88% of prescription forms and the accuracy of age data captured was 99.95%.
There are some data quality issues with the ages of patients prescribed the products requested in this FOI. The NHSBSA holds prescription images for 18 months. A sample of the data was compared to the images of the paper prescription forms from which the data was generated where these images are still available. These checks revealed issues in the reliability of age data –. When considering the accuracy of age data it is expected that a small number of prescriptions may be allocated against any given patient age incorrectly.
The figures provided for lowest patient age should therefore not be reported as fact.
NHS Prescription Services process prescriptions for Pharmacy Contractors, Appliance Contractors, Dispensing Doctors and Personal Administration with information then used to make payments to pharmacists and appliance contractors in England for prescriptions dispensed in primary care settings (other arrangements are in place for making payments to Dispensing Doctors and Personal Administration). This involves processing over 1 billion prescription items and payments totalling over £9 billion each year. The information gathered from this process is then used to provide information on costs and trends in prescribing in England and Wales to over 25,000 registered NHS and Department of Health and Social Care users.
No data is captured relating to the clinical indication a prescription is intended for. Some of these products can be used for a variety of clinical indications and therefore the drugs prescribed may have been prescribed for a different condition.
Data in ePACT2 is sourced from the NHSBSA Data Warehouse and is derived from products prescribed on prescriptions and dispensed in the Community. The data captured from prescription processing is used to calculate reimbursement and remuneration. It includes items prescribed in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey / Alderney, Jersey and Isle of Man which have been dispensed in the community in England. English prescribing that has been dispensed in Wales, Scotland, Guernsey / Alderney, Jersey and Isle of Man is also included.
The Data excludes:
• Items not dispensed, disallowed and those returned to the contractor for further clarification.
• Prescriptions prescribed and dispensed in Prisons, Hospitals and Private prescriptions.
• Items prescribed but not presented for dispensing or not submitted to NHS Prescription Services by the dispenser.
The data provided is for prescriptions prescribed in NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board regardless of where they are dispensed.
Please note: As of July 2022, there are new organisation names following NHS England/Improvement naming conventions. NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board was previously Kent and Medway STP and this dataset reflects that change.
The data has been provided as 4 separate files as follows:
Antidepressants Prescribed – All prescribing of Antidepressant products in BNF section Antidepressant drug (0403) in NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board.
Patients 0-17 – Prescribing of Antidepressant products in BNF section Antidepressant drug (0403) in NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board to patients aged 0-17.
Youngest Patient – Kent and Medway – Youngest patient prescribed products in BNF section Antidepressant drug (0403) in NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board. Note the above regarding data quality
Youngest Patient – England – Youngest patient prescribed products in BNF section Antidepressant drug (0403) in England. Note the above regarding data quality
Shows the number of times a product appears on a prescription form not the quantity prescribed.
Please note that this request and our response is published on our Freedom of Information disclosure log at:
If you have any queries regarding the data provided, or if you plan on publishing the data please contact email@example.com ensuring you quote the above reference. This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.
If you plan on producing a press or broadcast story based upon the data please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and is subject to NHSBSA copyright. This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence detailed at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/
Should you wish to re-use the information you must include the following statement: “ePACT2, NHSBSA Copyright 2022” This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence:
Failure to do so is a breach of the terms of the licence.
Information you receive which is not subject to NHSBSA Copyright continues to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the information originated. Please obtain their permission before reproducing any third party (non NHSBSA Copyright) information.
Data and Resources
This dataset has no data
|Last Updated||August 1, 2022, 10:15 (UTC)|
|Created||August 1, 2022, 10:08 (UTC)|