Patients leaving hospital are set to benefit from a new scheme that ensures they get the best use out of their medicines.
Reports suggest that many patients see their conditions deteriorate after leaving hospital because they struggle to use their medicines correctly and this scheme aims to reduce those issues across the Fylde coast and Lancashire.
The pharmacy department at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust now refers eligible patients to their chosen community pharmacist for a medicine review that will help patients meet their pharmacist to understand the medication they have been prescribed, learn how best to take the medication, discuss any possible side effects and answer any concerns the patient may have.
Alan Bloomer, Interface Pharmacist at the Trust, said: “Evidence shows us that only 16% of patients who are prescribed a new medicine take it as prescribed, experience no side effects or receive as much information as they believe they need.
“Furthermore approximately half of all people do not take their medicines as prescribed.
“By increasing patients’ contact with their community pharmacist we will help improve patients’ understanding and knowledge of their medication, improve medication optimisation and reduce health inequalities and medicine wastage.’
“Through improved access to these services patients will be less likely to be readmitted to hospital due to an adverse event such as a drug side effect to a newly prescribed medicine or not taking their medicines as prescribed.
“The service will support the reduction of A&E attendances, hospital admissions and readmissions.’’
In 2008/09, more than half a million bed days were attributed to adverse drug events caused by medicines, costing the NHS £235 million. At least six per cent of emergency admissions are caused by adverse drug reactions.
Asif Aqil, Community Pharmacist at Whitworth’s Pharmacy in Kirkham, says this new service will benefit patients and community pharmacy.
He said: “The community pharmacy is kept up to date with medicine changes for their patients.
“This is extremely important when it comes to helping patients understand their new medicines and also those patients on multiple medicines.
“Communication will be improved between hospital, GP surgeries and pharmacies which can only be better for patient care.”