This programme has now closed but you may find the below resources useful. Please note the information on this webpage was correct at the time of publication.
When some patients leave hospital they may need extra support taking their medications, especially if changes have been made to their prescription. The Transfers of Care Around Medicines (TCAM), a national AHSN Network programme commissioned by NHS England and Improvement between 2018-2020, was supported by the West of England AHSN to help ensure that when a patient leaves hospital, they have access to support so they understand the medicines they have been prescribed.
When a patient moves from one care setting to another, known as transfer of care; there is an increased risk of adverse effects. 30-70% of patients experience unintentional changes to their treatment or an error is made because of a miscommunication.
This is what the TCAM programme aimed to address; it involved identifying patients upon discharge who may be at risk from adverse effects or needing support with their medicines and referring them for advice and support from their usual community pharmacy. Work in the North East has shown that patients who see their community pharmacist after they’ve been in hospital are less likely to be readmitted and, if they are, will experience a shorter stay.
The success of this programme has shaped a new service commissioned by NHS England under the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework. Commenced in February 2021, the NHS Discharge Medicines Services contributes to improved cross-system collaboration to maximise the impact on patient safety and quality of care. More information about this service, including an implementation toolkit can be found here.
When patients in hospital are identified as needing extra support with their medicines, they are referred at the point of discharge, through a safe and secure digital platform, for advice from their local community pharmacist.
We have worked with hospital trusts and Local Pharmaceutical Committees in our region to help set up a secure electronic interface between the hospital IT systems and PharmOutcomes, the community pharmacy system.
The acute Hospitals in the West of England AHSN geographical region have either implemented the system or an agreement has been made to implement this system imminently (as of March 2021). This allows any patient who is identified after admission to one of the five regional acute hospitals to be referred for additional support by their local community pharmacy, in a timely and seamless manner.
Our Transfer of Care Around Medicines (TCAM) project has also been re-oriented in response to COVID-19. It has focused on discharge to care homes and new residents moving into care homes. Find out more here.
Wessex AHSN have produced a series of videos under the ‘Meet Mo’ campaign’ to encourage people, who may be struggling with medicines, to seek help.
The second Mo video is about supporting patients who’ve had a visit to hospital, where new medicines may be prescribed or where changes have been made to their medicines.
Chris Learoyd, Project Manager and Bernard Crotty, Corporate Development Manager have published an article regarding transfers of care around medicines in the Clinical Finance Journal.