We can ease the burden on GPs of patients with long-term conditions and save £135 million annually by placing pharmacists in care homes, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) urged.
The new report, The Right Medicine – Improving Care in Care Homes’, from the RPS concluded that pharmacist-led medicine reviews in care homes can improve safety for elderly residents, reduce avoidable appointments, and free up NHS money.
In response to the report, Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “With GPs and our teams under incredible resource and workforce pressures, the suggestion that pharmacists take on some of the medicine management responsibilities in care homes is definitely worth exploring – and we thank the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for putting these propositions forward.”
There are currently 405,000 care home residents in the UK aged over 65 with approximately 97% being prescribed at least one medication.
“Our patients who live in care homes are invariably living with multiple, long-term conditions, and as a result are often taking multiple medications, which can lead to health problems in itself. Managing polypharmacy effectively is key to ensuring our patients in care homes are kept safe and only taking medicines that they need to – this also reduces medicine waste, and at a time when the health service is running with scant resources, this is particularly important,” she added.
See the full report here