The target audience for this guideline is healthcare professionals involved in the management of patients receiving oral anticoagulant therapy.

The British Committee for Standards in Haematology (BCSH) published its third edition of Guidelines on Oral Anticoagulation in 1998 (British Committee for Standards in Haematology, 1998) with an update in 2006 (Baglin et al, 2006). These recommendations on safety indicators compliment those guidelines. Risks and recommendations are accompanied by lists of safety indicators for patients starting oral anticoagulant therapy and for patients established on oral anticoagulant therapy.

As in the previous guidelines the term ‘oral anticoagulant’ refers to oral vitamin K antagonists (VKA), such as warfarin.

Declaration of Interests

The BSH paid the expenses incurred during the writing of this guidance. None of the authors had conflicts of interest to declare. All authors have made a declaration of interests to the BSH and Task Force Chairs which may be viewed on request.