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Medicines support for patients leaving hospital

Hospital and pharmacy colleagues from across care settings came together for an event in Hull to explore a programme designed to support patients with their medicines.

The Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) hosted the event and key speakers included Karen Murden from Community Pharmacy Humber, Antonio Ramirez and Yvonne Holloway from Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

At the event, delegates had the opportunity to network, discuss opportunities and barriers to expanding the programme and share ideas and opinions on how stakeholders can work together to address these issues. They also received invaluable training on how the system works along with clinical updates on drug regimes and important counselling points for patients when undertaking medication reviews.

The Transfer of Care Around Medicines (TCAM) Programme is known locally as Refer to Pharmacy in Hull.

The programme allows patients in hospital, who have been identified as needing additional support with their medicines, to be referred (through a safe and secure digital platform), to their local community pharmacy when they are discharged. The initiative allows the hospital pharmacy team to send patient medication discharge details directly to their community pharmacist via a secure electronic platform, vastly improving workflow and integration between care settings.

It was first implemented in the cardiology ward at Castle Hill Hospital.. We are now working with Community Pharmacy Humber and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to expand Refer to Pharmacy across more wards to further improve the way patients are managed on discharge.

Up to 197 community pharmacies in Humber are supporting this programme to offer prompt advice to patients about their medicines after discharge, including the offer of Medicines Use Reviews and support through the New Medicines Service.

Speaking at the information and engagement event, Yvonne Holloway, Chief Pharmacist for Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Our key priorities are reducing medication errors and re-admission rates and improving the long-term health of our local patient population. It is now important to embed this process into our teams to ensure that hospital referrals are made via this process on a regular basis”.

Khalida Rahman, Programme Manager at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN said: “The NHS belongs to us all. The TCAM programme provides us with the opportunity to maximise NHS resources for the benefit of our local patients. We now need to build confidence and acceptance in the pivotal role pharmacy staff can play in the management of patients with long term conditions”.

Karen Murden, Contract Support Lead at Community Pharmacy Humber said: “it is great to see so much enthusiasm and commitment from pharmacists in attendance this evening. It is important that we regularly check the system for hospital referrals and when these occur they are followed up within the next few days, with actions recorded on the system to demonstrate our activity”.

The feedback showed the evening to be a resounding success, with attendees welcoming the opportunity to hear more about Refer to Pharmacy and how it can generate benefits to community pharmacies, hospital staff and patients.

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN is currently supporting the adoption and spread of the TCAM programme across the region.

If you would like to learn more about TCAM then please contact Khalida Rahman, Programme Manager at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN: khalida.rahman@yhahsn.com