NHS In Sussex nominated for prestigious national award
03 September 2018

SCFT shortlisted for major NHS award

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) has been shortlisted for a HSJ Award in Optimisation of Medicines Management for its work in East Sussex care homes.

Led by Principal Pharmacist Kayt Blythin, the Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes (MOCH) Service has been running for well over a year.

The service was introduced to:

  • provide better health outcomes.
  • avoid the need for unnecessary admissions to hospital; and
  • avoid overprescribing and wastage.

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

In a recent article in the Pharmaceutical Journal Kayt discussed the role of the service.

She said: “The most successful services are based on a good relationship with GPs, but they are busy and do not always think about how a stronger relationship with pharmacists can benefit care home residents.” 

“We put a pharmacist in first to get the medicines right for each resident and our involvement is welcomed by care homes that can struggle to get GPs to attend face-to-face reviews. They see us as an asset to help with individual care plans,” she says.

“One was owned by a pharmacist so it did not need it, while the other homes resisted in a more passive way by, for example, cancelling appointments. Often it is just a case of helping a care home to understand the value a pharmacist can bring. They can wrongly see such a service as creating more work for them.”

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.

More information about the HSJ Awards is available here.