Next of Kin details in the elderly in General Practice

Project Details


We identified a case where lack of Next of Kin (NOK) details was detrimental to a vulnerable patient’s care.


We researched how three different practices maintain their NOK records in those over 80 years:

Practice A: 0.5% of patients had NOK details.

Practice B: 2% of patients had NOK details.

Practice C: 4.6% of patients had NOK details.

We made changes at these practices aiming to improve the recording of this data. We identified interventions specific to the practices involved, but which could be widely applied in primary care.

Practice A: Updated patient registration form to make NOK more prominent. Tracker nurse was asked to opportunistically update information.

Practice B: Added NOK details to registration form. Tracker nurse asked to opportunistically update.

Practice C: Message placed on repeat prescription asking those aged over 80 to contact the surgery to update NOK details.


Practice A: Results to be confirmed.

Practice B: No improvement at present but currently investigating how NOK details are coded.

Practice C: Prescription message improved recording of NOK details from 4.6% to 8.7% in one month.

Our project shows that a simple intervention (practice C) can dramatically improve recording of NOK details. This can only improve patient safety and patient care. These changes are sustainable and can easily be introduced across all practices and to a wider patient cohort.



Lead Author