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Patient and Public Interest Group (PAPIG) meeting – 6 July 2023

We had another interesting and informative Patient and Public Interest Group (PAPIG) meeting on 6 July. Videos of the presentations are now available to view from

The virtual meeting included talks from external speakers on how to stop antidepressants safely, a patient medicines helpline and making patient information accessible and inclusive.

AWTTC also highlighted its Easy Read leaflet on tramadol and an update on inhaler prescribing while the Welsh National Poisons Unit (WNPU) presented their newly-developed public information about poisoning prevention.

The event was chaired by Dr Clare Elliott, Senior Scientist and Patient Engagement Lead, who encouraged feedback and discussion throughout the hour-and-a-half meeting. 

The first presentation from Dr Mark Horowitz and Stevie Lewis from the Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal looked at the issue of withdrawal experienced by some people when stopping antidepressant medications and how this can be mitigated by the careful tapering of doses over time.

Next to present was Jo Hubbard and Andrea Griffiths from the Welsh Medicines Advice Service (WMAS) who spoke about the Medicines Helpline which is a great resource available for patients in the Cardiff and Vale area. Details on how to contact it are available from the WMAS website at Information about local services in other health board areas is available at

The next talk on the importance of making information accessible and inclusive was delivered by Simon Rose from Learning Disability Wales (LDW). This was a very interesting presentation on how to make medicine information accessible for everyone. LDW take complex documents including medicine information leaflets and turn them into easy read versions so that people with learning disabilities can better understand them. To find out more visit the LDW website at

Karen Jones, AWTTC Senior Pharmacist, highlighted a project AWTTC worked on with LDW, to developed an easy read leaflet for people prescribed tramadol for pain management. These are available from the AWTTC website – English version / Welsh version and we would welcome feedback on these and also any suggestions and advice on stakeholder engagement so that we can ensure that we are getting these resources in the right format to the people who would benefit most from them. Please email Karen Jones at or

Talan Parnell, Specialist in Poisons Information from the Welsh National Poisons Unit (WNPU) presented on their recently-developed public-facing resources on poisoning prevention and first aid which are available from the AWTTC website at

Finally, Richard Boldero, AWTTC Senior Pharmacist, gave a review on the aims of the Decarbonisation: inhaler prescribing, use and disposal 2023–2030; A national strategy for Wales. This strategy will set out the ambitious actions that NHS Wales and its partners will need to take to reduce the carbon impact of inhalers in Wales. A consultation on this strategy will be opening in the next couple of weeks, details of which will be emailed to PAPIG members with an invitation to submit any comments.

AWTTC would like to thank all the presenters for such interesting and informative talks and to everyone who came to the meeting. Videos of the presentations are available at:

All are welcome to join PAPIG and attend quarterly meetings, including patients and their families, carers, patient organisations and members of the public.

The next PAPIG meeting will be 19 October 2023 - further details including the programme and a registration form will be available from in the next few weeks.


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