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MEMORABLE aims to improve the way older people are able to manage their medications. These are people who are at living at home and have several diagnoses that involve taking a lot of different pills. 

We are doing this by looking at what has been written about medication management. We are also talking to older people, family carers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and social care staff to understand their day-to-day experiences and what they think would make managing medications better and easier. We will then know more about what works and how. Based on this, we will then make recommendations about how medication management might be improved.

This is a complex issue. It is important to understand what is happening, how and why. For these reasons, MEMORABLE is using realist methodology, and particularly realist synthesis.

MEMORABLE is running from May 2017 to December 2018.

Newsletter Edition 3: Summer 2018


The research is funded by the NIHR: Health Services and Delivery Research (15/137/01).

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The views expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

Research information and background

We know that dealing with lots of tablets makes managing them more difficult and that many people forget or choose not to take them for a number of different reasons. We also know that poor medication management can limit the benefits from the pills people are taking and wastes money. This is a problem for the people involved and the NHS. 

In MEMORABLE, we are trying to understand more about medication management. We are trying to identify what works for who, how, under what circumstances and with what effects, and how it might be improved. We are using realist synthesis, a novel research technique. This is the first time that it has been used for this key issue, worldwide. For more information about MEMORABLE and the way it is being carried out, please visit Protocol, Methodology & Work Packages.

In this research, we are exploring what is written about medication management as well as what people tell us about their experiences. To do this, we are interviewing older people, informal carers and practitioners such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and care staff. If you are would like to know more about who can take part and how, please visit Information for Participants.

Bringing evidence and people’s experiences together will enable us to develop an intervention to improve medication management for and with older people. We anticipate this will be an evidence / experience-based framework.

MEMORABLE is being overseen by a Project Group that meets monthly and whose members have practice, research and public involvement expertise. It also has a Stakeholder Group that meets every three months and acts as a sounding board for the research findings as they develop. 

For regular news and updates on MEMORABLE, please visit Reports, publications & newsletters; Conferences & events; Media which you will find below. For links to other relevant websites, please visit External links which you will also find below.

Because medication management is an important issue, MEMORABLE is funded by the NHS National Institute of Health Research. To make sure it is being carried out properly, it has been approved by national and local ethics committees.

Discover more

MEMORABLE news and updates

  • Sally Lawson presented a poster at the West Midlands Clinical Research Network ENRICH and Aging Speciality event, 13th October 2017
  • Sally Lawson presented a poster at the Health Services Research and Pharmacy Practice Conference 2018, Innovative Healthcare in the 21st Century: Providing smarter, safer and patient-centred services, at Newcastle University, 12th April 2018

  • MEMORABLE featured on BBC Breakfast
  • Ian Maidment writing on polypharmacy in The Conversation, 25th October 2017 
  • Sylvia Bailey interviewed for Pharmacy Research UK, July 2017
  • NIHR website for MEMORABLE
  • PROSPERO website for MEMORABLE
  • RAMESES (Realist And Meta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards)
  • NICE Guideline on Medicines Optimisation (2015)

  • NICE Multimorbidity and Polypharmacy (2017)

  • NICE Managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community (2017)

  • King’s Fund (2013) Polypharmacy and medicines optimisation – making it safe and sound

  • King’s Fund (2013) Polypharmacy and medicines optimisation – making it safe and sound summary

  • RPS (2013) Medicines optimisation: helping patients to make the most of medicines

  •  Healthwatch Briefing on Pharmacy Services

Age UK
  • Main Website

  • Getting the most from your medicines

  • Getting help when feeling unwell

Contact us

If you would like to be involved or receive regular updates on MEMORABLE, please contact:

  • Ian Maidment (Chief Investigator): /  0121 204 3002 
  • Sally Lawson (Research Associate): / 07703 716 509 
  • Twitter: @maidment_dr
  • Hashtag: #MEMORABLEresearch