medicines optimisation service pulse
Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes service six months in
14 March 2017

Our Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes service is delivering effective outcomes six months in

We launched a new medicines optimisation service provided in care homes in July 2016. You can read more about the launch of this new service here. This service is integral to the East Sussex Better Together Transformation programme and covers the communities of Eastbourne, Hailsham, Seaford, Hastings and Rother – a geographical area of East Sussex which historically we have not provided many services in previously.

The service is working closely with 155 local care homes (54 of which are nursing homes and represents a total of 6,000 beds), GPs, patients and their carers to review prescribed medications to:

  • Provide better health outcomes.
  • Avoid the need for unnecessary admissions to hospital.
  • Avoid overprescribing and wastage.

The service ensures people living in care homes now receive an annual review of their medications. The service is also providing education and training to care home staff to improve health outcomes for residents.

What the service has achieved in the first six months since launch:

(Data is for the period September 2016 to February 2017)

  • The service has reviewed 511 patients.


  • Average number of medications per patient has been reduced from eight to six – a 25% reduction in medications being prescribed.
  • Recommendations made to GPs, “stop, start or change”, are on average four per patient, and 96% are accepted.
  • Financial savings are on average £110 per patient per year.

Benefits to patients:

  • Patient’s health and wellbeing has improved – reducing the number of medications reduces the risk of possible side effects.
  • Patients and carers are involved in the medicines reviews and feedback shows that this is appreciated.
  • Summary Care Records are up-to-date and reflect what is currently happening with patients. Sharing medical records across the health community reduces duplication and allows timely interventions.

Benefits to the wider health and care system:

  • Prescriptions are accurate and therefore more effective.
  • Less time spent dispensing medications.
  • Care home staff have shorter medicines rounds and more time to spend caring for patients.
  • Easier for GPs to manage repeat prescriptions.
  • Our service has saved the NHS £56,000 in medicines optimisation alone.
  • Reduced environmental costs by reducing waste.