Arden & GEM’s medicines optimisation service has been shortlisted in the patient safety category at the PrescQIPP Awards 2021 for their work to help patients better manage medication through the Norfolk Medicines Support Service.
The annual PrescQIPP Awards celebrate the good work of medicines optimisation teams across the country. The Norfolk Medicines Support Service (NMSS) has been shortlisted in the scheme’s patient safety category which recognises projects focusing on and delivering outcomes in the critical area of patient safety.
The NMSS offers an assessment and advice service to any adults who are having difficulties managing their medication, often due to conditions such as dementia or chaotic lifestyles. Referrals to the service can be made by healthcare professionals, family, friends, or sometimes the patient themselves. Following a referral, an assessment takes place in the patient’s home to address any concerns and agree the most practical method for safe medicines management. Interventions can include changes to prescribing, disposal of medicines stockpiles, health coaching and advice, and working with community pharmacies to implement compliance aids and devices.
The busy service, which is staffed by a team of four, receives an average of 120 support requests a month for assessments, MARS charts and hospital discharge support. While the service’s primary focus is on improving patient safety and outcomes by listening to patients and working with other healthcare professionals to implement practical solutions, the team’s commitment to removing medicines stockpiles and waste has also resulted in savings of over £15k for the local health system. By enabling medication compliance, the service is also helping to avoid unnecessary hospital attendances and admissions.
Follow up calls take place with patients at 6 weeks, 6 months and 12 months post assessment to ensure that interventions are having the desired effect and to collect any feedback on the service.
“We are absolutely delighted to have received this recognition. Our service has been delivering support to patients in Norfolk for almost two years now and during that time we have received nothing but positive feedback from the people we have assessed. Small changes, such as compliance aids, can make a real difference to what can be a stressful situation for individuals taking multiple medicines. By maintaining a patient-centred approach we can help relieve some of the burden for our users while also protecting them from potential harm.”
Amelia Raby, NMSS Lead at Arden & GEM
The winners of the PrescQIPP Awards 2021 will be announced at a virtual ceremony on Tuesday 12 October.
You can find out more about the Norfolk Medicines Support Service here.