Thumbs up for pharmacy post-discharge service

Patients who receive a follow-up consultation with a community pharmacist after being discharged from hospital are significantly less likely to be readmitted than those who don’t, a new study has found.

Researchers analysed data from patients taking part in the ongoing Transfer of Care scheme in the North East of England and North Cumbria between July 2014 and July 2015.

The innovative project, which is a collaboration between Newcastle-upon-Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, North of Tyne LPC and Pinnacle Health Partnership LLP (provider of PharmOutcomes), uses an electronic system to refer patients who have been discharged from hospital to a local community pharmacy for a follow-up consultation about their care and medicines.

The evaluation, which was published in BMJ Open, revealed that the odds of readmission were considerably lower among patients using the post-discharge service. What’s more, readmitted patients who had received a pharmacy consultation had a shorter hospital stay than those who hadn’t by an average of at least five days.

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