Community pharmacist support for patients leaving hospital 

This programme of work is one of seven programmes selected for national adoption and spread across the AHSN Network during 2018-20. With national adoption across all 15 AHSNs, Transfer of Care around Medicines (TCAM) has the potential to save £13.8million, reduce length of stay by 56,704 days and achieve 1,004 fewer readmissions in 2018/19. In 2019-20, savings of £28.8 million are projected based on reductions in length of stay and fewer readmissions. 

When some patients leave hospital they can need extra support taking their prescribed medicines. This may be because their medicines have changed or they need a bit of help taking their medicines safely and effectively.

The transfer of care process is associated with an increased risk of adverse effects. 30 – 70% of patients experience unintentional changes to their treatment or an error is made because of miscommunication.  This is what the transfer of care project aims to address.

When patients discharged from hospital are identified as needing extra support, they are referred through a safe and secure digital platform for advice from their local community pharmacist. 

Original work in the North East showed that patients who see their community pharmacist after they've been in hospital are less likely to be readmitted and, if they are will experience a shorter stay. 

Our delivery team within the AHSN are currently working with a number of trusts and the Local Pharmaceutical Committees to help set up a secure electronic interface between the hospital IT systems and PharmOutcomes, the community pharmacy system used in their area.  This will further enhanced TCAM by providing patient data quickly and seamlessly to their community pharmacist. 

With national adoption across all 15 AHSNs, TCAM has the potential to save £13.8million, reduce length of stay by 56,704 days and achieve 1,004 fewer readmissions in 2018/19. In 2019-20, savings of £28.8 million are projected based on reductions in length of stay and fewer readmissions. 

  • For more information on how we provide support please contact Rebecca Sharp, Programme Manager  Rebecca.sharp4@nhs.net

Further reading

Video - Mo's Medicines: from Hospital to Home

Video - Hospital Referral - Electronic Dispensing Methods