The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), in collaboration with several other partner organisations, has launched a new initiative to encourage better medicines support for people who are receiving social care services in their homes.
The aim is to ensure the safe and effective use of medicines in the community, so people get the best possible outcomes with a reduced risk of medicine related harm.
To enable better multi-disciplinary working, the campaign encourages health commissioners and local authorities to have a written agreement that sets out clear responsibilities for home-based medicines support.
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: “A collaborative approach to medicines support is key to improving outcomes for people accessing social care services in their homes, and could in turn help to reduce the number of preventable hospital admissions.
“We’re therefore delighted to be working with our partner organisations to highlight how NICE guidance and standards can help health and social care practitioners provide effective, person-centred advice and support about medicines in the community.”
The campaign also urges home care providers to ensure their medicines policies are robust and based on NICE guidance.
Jayne Easterbrook, learning and development/training specialist at the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), said: “Providing medication support is a really important part of a homecare provider’s responsibilities in supporting people to live well at home. This is why UKHCA is delighted to be part of the Involved & informed: good community medicines support collaboration. Working closely with other stakeholders, who understand the needs of individuals, will support homecare providers to support individuals with medication needs safely.”
The campaign focuses on NICE’s guideline and quality standard on managing medicines in the community, and comprises of action-orientated stand-alone messages, that speak to specific key audiences.
These key audiences are: local authority and clinical commissioning group (CCG) commissioners; social workers and other adult Care Act assessors; home care providers; people accessing medicines support (and their families and carers); Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors; GPs; pharmacists; and NHS Acute Trusts.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA’s) Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Councils are committed to supporting people to live independently and safely at home.
“The use of medicines for some people receiving care at home is an important part of this. We are pleased to be able to work with NICE and other national partners on this campaign, for the benefit of those who use these services and need medicines support.”
NICE has worked with several partner organisations on this campaign: the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Local Government Association (LGA), United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), Think Local Act Personal (TLAP), NHS England, Skills for Care, Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
Partner organisations will be sharing these messages with frontline colleagues through social media, bulletins and targeted emails.
Andy Tilden, Skills for Care Interim CEO, said: “Skills for Care are pleased to have been a partner in developing this campaign as we know safe and appropriate medicines support for people living in their own homes is a vital aspect of high-quality care and support.
“Home care providers who want to improve safety and staff confidence levels can use this campaign to ensure that their medicines policies are robust with content based on NICE guidance.”