The introduction of the New Medicine Services provides community pharmacists with an ideal opportunity to making a real difference to the health and well-being of patients.
The new medicine service (NMS) focuses on patients with long term conditions that have been prescribed new medicines. It is hoped that NMS will also lead to the following outcomes:
- improve medicines adherence
- increase patient engagement with their condition and medicines, which will support them in making decisions about their treatment and self management
- reduce medicines wastage
- reduce hospital admissions due to adverse events associated with medicines
- increase reporting of medicine adverse reactions by pharmacists and patients
- positive patient assessments
- provide evidence base on the effectiveness of the service
- enable the development of outcome and/or quality measures for community pharmacy
NMS will primarily focus on five clinical conditions: asthma; COPD, type 2 diabetes, antiplatelet/anticoagulant therapy, and hypertension. Patients can be offered the service when they present with a prescription for a new medicine in pharmacies, or may be referred to the service by prescribers either in primary care or hospitals.
How will this new service work with transfer of care from the hospital to the community?
Starting a new medicine in hospital
The hospital pharmacist is available to answer any questions about new medicines. For example, information about side effects, or how to fit treatment around lifestyle. But it is important that this support is available after the patient is discharged from hospital. To this end, the patient will be referred to a community pharmacy offering NMS.
First appointment with a community pharmacist
The patient will register with their designated community pharmacist, and have the service explained. Again the pharmacist is available to answer any questions about the new medicines.
Second appointment with a community pharmacist
A follow-up appointment will take place two weeks later, when there is an opportunity to talk about any issues that may have been experienced with the medicine. For example, if not taking it regularly, or finding a tablet hard to swallow. The pharmacist can offer advice and support to ensure the patient benefits from treatment tailored to their needs.
Third appointment with a community pharmacist
The last appointment will be a fortnight later when the pharmacist can follow up on how well the patient is getting on with their medicine. The service then ends, but the pharmacist will always be available to talk over any concerns in the future, as this important link between patient and pharmacist has been forged.
The following documents will be used to refer patients on discharge to their chosen community pharmacy: