Medicines Support Service

The medicines support service is designed to enhance patients’ discharge experience by referring them on discharge from hospital to their community pharmacy for onward support.  This could be in the form of a discharge MUR, or New Medicines Service.  The pharmacy will, with the patient’s consent, receive an electronic copy of the discharge summary via Pharmoutcomes.

Why is this important?

There are more than 13 million hospital admissions in England each year.  Between 30 and 70% of patients have either an error or unintentional change to their medicines when their care is transferred.  Medicines-related problems after hospital discharge are associated with potential and actual adverse health consequences, many of which are preventable. 

Although hospitals will send a patient’s discharge summary including the medication list to their GP, there has until now been no robust mechanism to share this information with their community pharmacist.  Communtiy pharmacists therefore have no easy means of identifying if one of their patients is in, or has recently been discharged from hospital.  The Medicines Support Service will create better links between hospitals and community pharmacists by electronically sending discharge information.

The service has recently been launched in North Devon, with the pharmacy team at the Northern Devon Health Care Trust liaising closely with the LPC.  The implementation pack has examples of the patient information leaflet, and other resources to support the implementation of the service.

 A recent article published in the BMJ (Please link to this article demonstrated the benefits of utilising an electronic referral platform like PharmOutcomes, and suggested that patients receiving a follow up consultation on their medicines from a community pharmacist may have lower rates of readmission to hospital and shorter hospital stays.

MUR Guidance on the NHSE website