Medicines project delivers £9.5 million savings
A collaboration between hospitals and pharmacies in Cheshire and Merseyside has saved the NHS £9.5 million – and improved patient care.
Pharmacies in Cheshire and Merseyside are being notified by their local hospital when a patient is discharged who might need help understanding changes to their medicines following their stay.
The initiative, called Transfer of Care Around Medicines, is improving patient safety and quality of care by providing support for patients and their carers following a hospital discharge – and saved the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside an estimated £9.5 million over the three years to spring 2019 through a reduction in hospital readmissions.
All 635 community pharmacies in Cheshire and Merseyside are participating, and this has been shown to help reduce the number of avoidable bed days in hospital in what is thought to be the most comprehensive rollout of the programme in the country.
Some patients leaving hospital need advice and support to help them take their medicines correctly and safely. Around 60 per cent of patients have three or more changes made to their medicines during their stay in hospital, and only 10 per cent of older patients are discharged with the same medication they were taking before they went into hospital.
In 2016 NHS England in Cheshire and Merseyside in partnership with the Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast, received funding to help introduce new systems enabling the transfer of care from hospitals to community pharmacies. A secure digital system allows a hospital’s pharmacy team, with the patient’s consent, to inform their local pharmacy of the patient’s medicines on discharge and the reasons for any changes so the pharmacist can follow up with advice and services.
As of March 2019, Transfer of Care Around Medicines in Cheshire and Merseyside has been implemented in 10 trusts, including 11 hospitals, two mental health trusts and all 635 community pharmacies – the fastest adoption and widest spread of the initiative in any region in England.
By March of this year there had been 14,853 referrals to community pharmacists resulting in an estimated reduction of 5,103 bed days to the NHS as well as improved patient safety and quality of care.
Una Harding, pharmacist at Day Lewis Pharmacy in Aintree, yesterday said:
“We now get notifications on our system on a daily basis, it’s a platform we use every day. New discharges or referrals are the first thing you see when you log on. If we see a patient has recently been in hospital we can make a note to speak to them about their medication when they next come in.
“Patients now understand we can deliver more for them. There’s a culture now where people are realising that their GP doesn’t always have to be the first port of call. They know now that if they come into the pharmacy we can talk to them about the changes to their medication.
“It’s fabulous. Finally we’re getting more information so we can make more clinical decisions without having to hunt for information from different sources.”
Hassan Argomandkhah, Chair of Pharmacy Local Professional Network NHS England Cheshire and Merseyside, said: “This initiative started as an ambitious idea but we’ve managed to achieve it, and even if we’ve made just one small change in the quality of life of one patient in the past two years it’s been well worth it. None of this would have happened without the dedication of the pharmacists and their teams – whether in NHS England, in the community pharmacies, or in the hospital pharmacy teams – and all the other ancillary staff surrounding them. Without that support and encouragement we wouldn’t have achieved this.”
Dr Liz Mear, Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency, yesterday said:
“The scale and speed of the adoption of Transfer of Care Around Medicines in Cheshire and Merseyside is an inspiring example of the region’s healthcare professionals collaborating to improve the quality of care for patients and the efficiency of our health services.
“The initiative demonstrates the value of community pharmacies as a key part of our healthcare infrastructure. Transfer of Care Around Medicines has been adopted by the AHSN Network nationally as one of our key innovation programmes and I hope that Cheshire and Merseyside will be an exemplar to other regions, supporting the spread of this invaluable collaboration.”
For more information, read our case study…
Latest News from
Help for businesses to ‘excel in health’08/01/2021 09:10:00
A series of workshops is on offer to North West Coast businesses with products aimed at health and care organisations.
Applications open for Pathway Tranformation Fund22/12/2020 11:05:00
Applications for phase three of the Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF) will open from Monday 4 January.
Cheshire inventors receive health tech funding for innovative foot blister prevention pad03/12/2020 09:10:00
The Cheshire-based inventors of a ground-breaking blister prevention pad have received £10,000 funding to further develop their technology in the NHS.
AHSN Network delivers almost £500m in economic growth24/11/2020 09:10:00
The Innovation Agency and its fellow 14 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) have generated nearly £500m in inward investment in the last two years, new figures reveal.
New career routes in psychological professions18/11/2020 09:10:00
A ground-breaking new career route for psychology graduates to enter the NHS is being launched in the North West Coast.
Cheshire and Merseyside Baby Week17/11/2020 12:25:00
Six days of activities to boost the health of mums and babies are taking place this week, 16-22 November, with the support of the Innovation Agency.
New chief exec for Innovation Agency26/10/2020 12:25:00
The Innovation Agency has appointed Dr Phil Jennings as chief executive, four years after he joined the organisation as medical director, later becoming deputy chief executive.
Facemask manufacturing facility launched by family business in Lancashire26/10/2020 10:15:00
A manufacturing facility for civilian and surgical masks has been launched by Lancashire family business Issa Group. The new facility, Walton Mill, is based in the heart of Lancashire.