One of the Vanguard projects in Hertfordshire has seen the East and North Herts CCG develop a pharmacy team to help support care homes with medication, which is an additional service to what is currently provided by the usual community pharmacist.
The pharmacy team involved in this project is made up of four clinical pharmacists and one pharmacy technician.
The main focus of the pharmacy team is:
Medication reviews for residents followed by a multidisciplinary meeting to discuss recommendations.
– The meeting is attended by carers, nurses, GPs and the pharmacy team.
– The medication review ensures that all medicines prescribed are still needed and that the resident is still getting a benefit from them, sometimes medication will be stopped if it is agreed that it is no longer needed or beneficial.
Observe medication administration rounds
– This has helped identify issues with residents not being able to manage inhalers or swallow tablets etc and has resulted in more streamlined medication rounds when dosage adjustments are recommended.
Ensure medication is stored safely, recorded correctly and policies are in place
– This can help care homes prepare for CQC inspections
Work with care homes, GPs and community pharmacists to resolve issues with ordering prescriptions.
Advise care homes about how to reduce medicines waste
– This can be by reviewing quantities prescribed as prn, reducing pack sizes, advising on expiry dates of products and helping with systems to carry stock over to the next month.
Since starting the project in 2015 the pharmacy team has worked with 32 care homes to date, with many more care homes planned for the next year. In the meantime, the Pharmacy Team will be developing some ‘good practice guidelines’ to help care homes with issues that have been identified. These will be available on the HCPA website once they are published in the coming months.