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A study of pharmacy services provided to hospital admission units in Wales

By R. J. Boldero, J, Gilbertson, J. Goddard and S. J. Hiom



To ascertain the provision of pharmacy services to hospital admission units across Wales.


The principles and processes used were based on those devised in a previous all-Wales study, where trainee pharmacists submitted data as part of the audit process. Comparison of data was facilitated by using a uniform method.


Data were collected in the emergency/unscheduled admissions units at 14 hospitals. All patients admitted for a continuous 14-day period between October 2010 and February 2011 were included.

Outcome measures

To quantify the time spent on different activities by pharmacy staff, to assess the percentage of patients with medicines reconciled within 24 hours and to quantify the number and type of information sources used in medicines reconciliation.


The average pharmacist spent three hours and 10 minutes a day, and the average technician spent three hours and 14 minutes in the admission units. The most common pharmacist activities were reviewing current patients and medicines reconciliation. For technicians it was medicines ordering. Overall, 55 per cent of patients had medicines reconciled within 24 hours. This increased to 67 per cent when patients were excluded whose medicines were not reconciled as a result of death, discharge or transfer to another hospital. The most commonly used medication history information source at 38 per cent was GPs.


The admission unit pharmacy service undertakes a variety of activities in Welsh hospitals, with pharmacists providing more clinically orientated ones. This pharmacy service is achieving medicines reconciliation within 24 hours for just over a half of all patients. The continuing need for further development and optimisation of pharmacy services on admission units remains of paramount importance.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11120014

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