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rpswales carehomeresidentsMarch 7 2016

 

A policy document setting out best practice to optimise medicines in care home settings in Wales has been launched.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales document looks at five key areas:

  • polypharmacy
  • antipsychotic prescribing
  • safe transfer of information
  • education, training and standards
  • palliative care.

Key recommendations draw on examples of good practice from across Wales and include the follwoing:

  • as part of a multidisciplinary review, all residents should receive a review of their medication by a pharmacist when they first move into a care home;
  • in line with NICE guidance, when an antipsychotic medicine is required, the lowest dose should be prescribed for the shortest time with regular review by an appropriately skilled pharmacist as part of the multidisciplinary team;
  • reconciliation of medicines should be undertaken by a pharmacist when a person moves to a care home from their own home or another care setting to ensure that their medication is maintained accurately;
  • inspections of care homes should include the expertise of a pharmacist to address medication issues and improve medicines safety.

The Chair of the RPS Welsh Pharmacy Board, Suzanne Scott Thomas, commented: “This new policy demonstrates the commitment of the pharmacy team to working in partnership with our health and social care colleagues for the benefit of all patients. Whether living in their own home or in a care home, older people must receive our continuing support and expertise.

“Care home residents often take a combination of medicines for a number of different conditions. A pharmacist who is responsible for the use of medicines in care homes as part of the healthcare team could review these complex medicines, identify any that are no longer needed, and make sure that residents are getting the best out of their medicines.”

The RPS is calling for the next Welsh Government “to commit to the collective action that will implement the necessary changes to allow the pharmacy team together with health and social care colleagues to use their expertise for improving care for care home residents in Wales.”

Links:

RPS announcement

RPS Wales ‘Improving Medicines Use for Care Home Residents’

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