Medicines optimisation in care homes

Building on the learning from the Enhanced Health in Care Homes Vanguards, NHS England, with support from NHS England Regional Independent Care Sector Programme Management Offices, will be funding Lead CCGs to commission a programme for medicines optimisation for care home residents.

NHS England is working to embed pharmacy teams into the health and social care system to support care homes and their residents with medicines optimisation. This will be delivered though the introduction of 180 pharmacists and 60 pharmacy technician posts, with the Pharmacy Integration Fund providing a funding arrangement for two years.

Medicines optimisation in care homes by pharmacy teams has been shown to improve patient centred care and quality, reduce risk of harm from medicines and release healthcare resources.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working with their health and social care colleagues and care homes staff, patients and their families, can provide a number of benefits for care homes and their residents including:

  • Optimising medicines (stopping inappropriate or unsafe medicines, and ensuring medicines add value to patient’s health and well-being)
  • Patient centred care (shared decision making about which medicines care home residents take and stop)
  • Creating better medicines systems for care homes to reduce waste and inefficiency
  • Training and supporting care home staff to enhance safer administration of medicines.

Further information is available in the Medicines optimisation in care homes Briefing Document, which sets out the background to the programme and describes the scope, objectives and expected outcomes for care home residents.