Referring patients from hospital to community pharmacy

heidi 1By Heidi Wright, RPS Practice and Policy Lead for England

Research shows that around 60% of patients have 3 or more medicines changed during their hospital stay, 20% experience side-effects after having their medicines changed and almost half of all patients experience an error with their medicines after they are discharged from hospital.

The upshot is that vital medicines can end up being taken late, or not at all, because the details needed to ensure the safe transfer of medicines information between care settings have not been provided or followed up.

Today East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is launching their pioneering ‘Refer-to-Pharmacy’ scheme which tackles this problem head-on.  It involves patients in hospital being visited by a hospital pharmacist or pharmacy technician, who then sets up an electronic referral appointment with the patient’s chosen community pharmacist. Read more Referring patients from hospital to community pharmacy