img_0297The NHS is continuously trying to improve efficiencies to make sure money is being spent in the most appropriate places within the health and social care system. One area of focus is reducing waste, including medications in care homes. £50,000,000 of waste medicines is destroyed from care homes nationally every year. This money could go towards more frontline staff, further GP coverage, more coverage within the ambulance services and further upskilling into the social care sector.

Currently the ‘Medication Optimisation team’ are moving round homes in East and North Herts and the Care Home Improvement Team in Herts Valley to work with the homes and GP’s to reduce unnecessary medication wastage. Some of the saving so far made by the Medication Optimisation team-

  • 22 Care Homes visited
  • 2146 Recommendations made
  • 6421 Medications Reviewed, of which 748 medicines stopped
  • 56 antipsychotics reviewed with GP of which 17 stopped
  • Direct drug cost reductions £96,214 p.a.  (£133/patient)
  • Potentially saved hospital admission cost (using Rio tool) £292,160

But there are also actions you can take as a home to help the wastage when a resident is admitted to hospital.

When a resident is admitted to hospital and they still hold a bed vacancy in your care home:

  • You are required to keep medication for when the resident returns, the only exception to this is the medicines you have sent into hospital with the resident
  • Do not order medication for the next month , there may have been changes to medication whilst they are in hospital
  • The hospital pharmacy team will contact you to explain any changes in medication and give advice on how to deal with these changes
  • Medication should only be destroyed once you have been notified that the resident will not be returning to you home

If you have any further questions regarding medication please contact