Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

sections

Community pharmacy

Pharmacists should help assess patients after hospital discharge, says patient body

Healthwatch recommended that patients “link up with community pharmacists” to improve the administration of medication after discharge from hospital.

Older woman taking pill

Source: Shutterstock.com

The Healthwatch report said there was little, or no, information given to patients and their carers post-discharge about administering medication

Community pharmacists should be included in multidisciplinary teams that carry out assessments after patients are discharged from hospital, a report by the charity Healthwatch has said.

The report on patients’ experiences of being discharged from hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic noted “a real gap in the provision of post-discharge community health and social care services”.

It said that nearly half of people with a disability (45%) and a fifth (20%) of people with a long-term condition were not having their support needs met after their discharge from hospital.

The report based its findings on a survey of 590 patients, carers and staff who had experience in the hospital discharge process during the pandemic.

The report said that health and care staff raised “several issues in relation to patient medication”.

“For example, patients were often discharged without medication or not given enough medication. Alongside this, there was little, or no, information given to patients and their carers about administering medication,” the report said.

It added that social distancing rules meant that “some GPs were not conducting home visits which made it difficult for some people to obtain follow-up prescriptions”.

Healthwatch, therefore, recommended patients “link up with community pharmacists” to improve the administration of medication.

“Local health systems should include pharmacists in the multidisciplinary teams carrying out post-discharge community assessments, if they are not already,” the report concluded.

Claire Anderson, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board, said: “It’s vital patients who are prescribed new medicines while in hospital get the right support when discharged.

“Existing discharge schemes from hospital to community pharmacies are already helping patients get the maximum benefits from new medicines and reducing hospital readmissions.

“They’re a win-win for patients and the NHS and we’d like to see this replicated across the country.”

Healthwatch’s recommendations come ahead of the national discharge medicines service, which will launch in January 2021.

Hospitals will be able to digitally notify community pharmacies when patients who have recently been discharged may need advice on taking new medicines, as well as any changes to their prescriptions.

The service will build on the existing ‘transfer of care around medicines’ scheme, which has been running in parts of the country since 2014.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20208491

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.