It is well documented that 5–8% of adult hospital admissions are medicines-related, and that 30% of these may be due to non-adherence to medicines for chronic illness. Not only does this lead to poorer health outcomes, but also significant waste of prescribed medicines – estimated to cost the NHS up to £150 million per year.
Research demonstrates that early intervention by a community pharmacist can significantly improve adherence, and that effective, collaborative working can reduce the risks to patients when transferring across care settings.
On 1st October 2011, two new nationally commissioned NHS services were launched to support patients to ‘get the best from their medicines’ and make best use of the clinical skills of community pharmacists
An event was held in East Midlands on 23rd September 2011 to ‘launch’ the New Medicines Service and targeted Medicines Use Reviews and the programme, report and presentation slides can be accessed to the right. A summary of the presentations can be found below.
Tom Gray, Pharmacy Lead for East Midlands, opened the event with a review of the new contractual framework, within the background of QIPP and need for both quality and efficiency.
Professor Nick Barber, Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the School of Pharmacy, University of London, gave a compelling presentation, identifying the issues leading to non-adherence, existing approach to ‘supporting’ patients, and research evidence supporting the New Medicines Service.
Dr Annette Freyer, Consultant Physician in Acute Medicine, and Chris Love, Senior Pharmacist Medical Education, at Nottingham University Hospitals, described opportunities for working with secondary care.
Gareth McCague, Executive Officer for Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Coventry LPCs, provided an overview of the strategic opportunity for the NHS to make use of the enormous community pharmacy human resource and estate in the East Midlands to deliver these services.
Gail Pearce, Area Manager for Boots Local Pharmacy in Derbyshire, emphasised how a simple conversation with patients can have a meaningful outcome and help address the reasons why people stop taking their medicines.
Workshops brought together locality teams to consider the opportunities, and barriers to implementation of the contractual framework, to identify good practice, and effective models for collaboration.
Ceinwen Mannall, CPPE Regional Manager for East Midlands, showcased the wide range of open-learning materials (including e-learning, a video wall, patient stories) and workshop materials to support the new services;
Heidi Wright, English Practice and Policy Lead at Royal Pharmaceutical Society, signposted the resources available on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website to support, and media activity to coincide with the launch the new services.
Dr Diane Harris, Pharmacy Advisor to NHS Derbyshire, described research she undertook to improve medicines adherence in elderly patients and those with mental health issues.
Action Planning was undertaken by teams to raise awareness and take forward the new services in their localities.