Liverpool’s Discharge Medicines Service

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised as having one of the best Discharge Medicines Services in the country in partnership with community pharmacies in the city.

The Trust has helped to pioneer the service, which sees patients referred to a community pharmacist when they leave hospital. This is helping to reduce re-admissions to hospital from patients who have issues with or queries about their medicines.

It is estimated that 60% of patients can have three or more changes made to their medicines during a hospital stay. By referring patients directly to their community pharmacy when they are discharged, checks are in place to make sure patients are receiving the most effective care. In Liverpool, the service is already reducing re-admissions to hospital.

It’s estimated that one in every 23 consultations at a community pharmacy will prevent one readmission to hospital. It is estimated that the service has prevented 1,230 readmissions to hospital within 30 days.  Almost 35% of referrals to Discharge Medicines Services from across the country are made in the North West.

The NHS Discharge Medicines Service – which involves the first direct referral from hospitals to community pharmacies and is part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework – is now being rolled out across the North West to assist in the NHS’s pandemic recovery.

Professor Alison Ewing, Clinical Director of Pharmacy at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are immensely proud of the impact the service has had so far – and that, by working in partnership with our community pharmacy colleagues, we’ve developed an approach in Liverpool that’s going to help others. The team here has worked hard during what’s been a challenging couple of years to get the service up and running. We can see from the results that it’s helping people.”