The NHS Discharge Medicines Service is a new essential service for community pharmacy contractors, commencing on the 15 February 2021. As an essential service, it must be provided by all community pharmacy contractors.
The service has been established to ensure better communication of changes to a patient’s medication when they leave hospital and to reduce incidences of avoidable harm caused by medicines. By referring patients to community pharmacy on discharge with information about medication changes made in hospital, community pharmacy can support patients to improve outcomes, prevent harm and reduce readmissions.
To support community pharmacy, hospital, and primary care network (PCN) clinical teams with delivering the NHS Discharge Medicines Service, the following materials are available:
Discharge Medicines Service Toolkit: To ensure that a cross-sector approach is taken to implementation, and to support clinical teams across hospitals, PCNs and community pharmacy to provide the service, a cross-sector toolkit has been published. The draft toolkit sets out the shared responsibility and roles of clinical teams across community pharmacy, NHS trusts and PCNs in medicines reconciliation on discharge. Clinical teams in the respective organisations should ensure that they:
- have read the cross-sector toolkit and understand the NHS Discharge Medicines Service; and
- fully understand their role and responsibilities in delivering the NHS Discharge Medicines Service.