Community Medicines Optimisation programme

Medicines play a crucial role in maintaining health, preventing illness, managing long-term conditions and curing disease. In an era of significant economic, demographic and technological challenge, it is vital that patients get the best quality outcomes from medicines. However, against this background it is known that;

  • up to 50% of patients do not take their medicines as intended;
  • between 5 and 8 per cent of all unplanned hospital admissions are due to medication issues;
  • medicines waste is a significant, and largely untackled, issue;
  • according to medication safety data, the NHS could do much better at reporting and preventing avoidable harm from medicines;
  • resistance to antimicrobials presents a very real and significant threat to modern health care.

Medicines optimisation has been identified nationally as a priority area of work for the NHS, in order to get best value from the huge national investment in medicines. This involves understanding the patient’s experience, ensuring medicines use is as safe as possible, and promoting evidence based choice of medicines.

The South West Strategic Clinical Network (SWSCN)is supporting a range of community focused medicines optimisation projects to be piloted in 2014/15. The aim is to promote joint working across different healthcare organisations, in order to improve patient experience with medicines.

South West CCG Pharmacist Leads, Local Pharmaceutical Committees and Pharmacy Local Professional Networks were asked for medicines optimisation project ideas fitting with the wider SWSCN work plans, and 13 applications were received, covering both Community and specialist pharmacist services. These projects aim to support improved medicines optimisation for more than 1000 patients in 2014/15.

Project areas include Domiciliary Medication Review by Community Pharmacist, Specialist geriatric pharmacist referral service, Specialist diabetes pharmacist in-reach post, community pharmacy integration into Somerset Dementia Care Pathway, and Community Pharmacy discharge referral pathway development.

For further information contact us