An innovative approach to help patients adapt to new, existing and changed medicine regimes is being trialled by Southampton Science Park-based Wessex Academic Health Science Network. The project, entitled Transfer of Care Around Medicines, will involve over 80 community pharmacists who will initially work with referrals from University Hospital Southampton.
When moving between care providers or returning home from hospital, patients often experience errors or unintentional changes to their medication and this presents a significant safety risk. In fact, research has shown that 20% of patients experience unwanted medicine-related events within three weeks of returning home from a hospital stay.
However, there is now evidence which clearly indicates that referring patients to a community pharmacist for a medicines review makes a significant difference to people taking their medicines correctly, thus preventing them from becoming unwell and being re-admitted to hospital.
Pharmacists are well placed to support patients with changes to their medication, understanding side effects and other concerns, and can resolve most issues easily. They will liaise with hospital pharmacists and GPs to help people manage their medicines confidently at home and understand how they work together for the best possible health outcomes.
There are further plans for this scheme to be rolled out across Hampshire, Dorset and The Isle of Wight in the next 12 months.