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NPIS report 2022-23
Click here for the full NPIS 2022-23 report


Poisoning is an important public health issue and a common cause of hospital presentation in the UK. In England alone, there are typically over 350,000 emergency department presentations every year. Episodes involve accidental exposures, medication errors, self-harm or drug misuse. Many more patients are managed in the community, including by primary care and NHS advice services such as NHS 111, NHS 24 and NHS Direct. The National Poisons Information Service is commissioned to provide information and advice 24-hours a day to NHS healthcare professionals across the UK to support the management of patients with suspected poisoning.


The NPIS provides this information primarily via TOXBASE, an online database, which is also available as an app for iOS and Android mobile devices, and a 24-hour telephone advice service, staffed by specialists in poisons information and supported by consultant clinical toxicologists. The availability of this expertise avoids unnecessary hospital referrals and admissions for patients at low risk of harm, while improving the quality of treatment and shortening hospital stay for those with clinical toxicity.


The NPIS also hosts the UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS), the national source of information and advice about exposures to drugs and chemicals during pregnancy.


During the 2022/23 reporting year there were over 2.5 million TOXBASE online page views. The most frequent users were hospital departments and NHS telephone advice services such as NHS 111, NHS 24 and NHS Direct.


Delivering information on poisoning directly to individual healthcare professionals, the TOXBASE app provided users access to TOXBASE on- and offline at the point of care. At 31 March 2023 there were over 28,000 TOXBASE app subscribers who accessed almost 285,000 app pages during 2022/23.


The national telephone enquiry line handled 38,709 telephone enquiries during 2022/23. 


During 2022/23 UKTIS received over 2 million accesses to the openly available summaries on the UKTIS website, and a further 26,648 accesses to the detailed information on drugs and chemical exposures in pregnancy held on TOXBASE. In addition, 1.8 million accesses were made to the publicly available information about drugs in pregnancy 

provided by the bumps website.


TOXBASE in numbers