Pharmacists have called for overall responsibility for medicines and their use in care homes, in response to Friday’s announcement of a £20 million cash investment in pharmacy support.
“This will drive up standards of patient safety and cut the estimated annual £24 million of medicines wasted in care homes every year,” said Sandra Gidley, who is chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England. She said: “Too many care home residents take too many medicines which do them more harm than good.”
The investment by NHS England recognises that pharmacy teams can provide better health outcomes for care home residents, improve efficiency and reduce medicines waste.
The pharmacists and technicians will be commissioned by England’s CCG to work across the care home population where there is most need. Recruitment will start in April with pharmacists in post by early Summer, supported by a training programme to enable all those in post to become independent prescribers.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society acknowledges that care homes will have different pharmacy support requirements. For more information on the ways that pharmacists can support care homes, read the RPS’ Ultimate guide to working in care homes.
Further information on the NHS England programme can be found in Medicines optimisation in care homes: programme overview.