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City care homes better supported to manage appropriate prescribing

26th September 2016 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

Patients across Leicester are set to benefit as a result of extra support being given to care homes around the prescribing of medications.

Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has expanded its Pharmacist Led Care Home Team, consisting of a Clinical Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technician, to support city care homes in managing prescriptions and medicines use for their residents.

The team has already begun to support homes with how they manage their residents’ medication and reduce the amount of wasted medicines due to over ordering.

The expansion of the scheme builds on an 18 month pilot that saw almost 500 patients have their medicines reviewed. That directly led to 2143 prescriptions being appropriately adjusted and 1457 unnecessary prescribed medicines have been stopped.

National guidance highlights the key role pharmacists and technicians can play in improving the care of patients in residential and nursing care homes.

Previous work has shown through reviewing prescriptions of patients in care homes, unnecessary medications can in the majority of cases be stopped. Nationally a reduction in emergency hospital admissions has been achieved through stabilising patients’ health conditions through appropriate prescribing and support.

With the addition of Pharmacy Technician support, the team will look to develop on this national success, locally, as well as providing ongoing support to the residential homes to safely manage medicines and reduce medicines wastage, through appropriate prescribing.

Dr Paul Danaher, prescribing GP Lead at Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Residents in care homes more often than not have a range of complex health conditions requiring complex medication overseen by their GP. The introduction of these two posts mean the care home can work more closely with the clinical pharmacist and technician to manage patients’ needs better. This includes stopping unnecessary medication and over prescribing of medication. It also means that if a patient’s medication is appropriately prescribed, their condition will be stable and they will most likely avoid having to go into hospital, because the team will have prevented their condition from deteriorating.”

In the coming weeks, a member of the care homes team will be contacting each care and residential home in Leicester City to arrange a visit and begin working with them in a close partnership to discuss their prescribing systems and how they can better manage medicines waste.

Hardeep Bagga, prescribing manager and pharmacist at Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “As a team we will continue to develop strong supportive links with the care homes and the care home  staff to enhance their knowledge and systems for medicines, whilst working with the residents registered GP to  ensure the care home residents ,some if which will have  multiple conditions and often complex medicine regimes, get the best outcomes from their medicines. Ensuring resident’s get the most out of their medicines is central to our work whilst also working with and supporting care homes and general practice.”

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