Wessex AHSN is delighted to announce the launch of the Transfer of Care of Medicines (TCAM) programme across Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust (HHFT). This programme has already achieved considerable success in other areas of Wessex.
TCAM is a process that ensures patients who need support with their medications after leaving hospital, are supported by their Community Pharmacist.
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) pharmacy team has started using TCAM to identify patients who may benefit from closer contact with their community pharmacist and refer them to the patient’s chosen local pharmacy. The community pharmacist will then contact the patient to arrange a consultation, which could result in a number of different services or interventions being offered to support them.
This joined-up care means that patients have the support they may need in order to continue to take their medicines correctly, stay well, and avoid any re-admissions into hospital based on avoidable medication errors.
Nationally it is estimated that 60 per cent of patients have three or more changes to their medicines during a hospital stay. This sometimes makes it difficult for patients to keep track of their new medicine routines once they are discharged from hospital, and they may not realise that they are taking their medicines incorrectly.
Taryn Keyser, Deputy Chief Pharmacist at Hampshire Hospitals, running Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, said: “We are incredibly excited to bring this collaborative way of working to our Trust, so that we can provide the best possible care and experience to our patients.
"Pharmacy is often seen as behind the scenes, but medicines are the most common intervention in healthcare and we see first-hand how our pharmacists make a difference to our patients. By working closely with our brilliant community pharmacy colleagues, we can ensure patients experience the best possible care, even when they leave hospital.”
Pharmacy staff are trained to identify patients who may need additional support with their medications and will be making the referrals to the community teams. Also, patients and family members are being encouraged to talk to the hospital staff if they feel they would benefit from the TCAM process.
Debby Crockford, Chief Officer of Community Pharmacy South Central, which supports and represents over 350 community pharmacies in Hampshire and Isle of Wight, said: “We have seen elsewhere the positive difference the TCAM process can make, and all of our community pharmacists are welcoming this new way of working in the region.
"There is a great relationship between hospital and community pharmacies, and it is wonderful to see how TCAM will bring us even closer together to support the best possible outcomes for patients.”
Clare Howard, National Medicines Optimisation Clinical Lead on behalf of Wessex AHSN, said: “This is wonderful news for patients in the Hampshire Hospitals area. We know from our work in Southampton and the Isle of Wight that the TCAM programme supports patients as they leave hospital to go home and reduces the risks associated with their medication.
"The HHFT launch is the culmination of hard work and perseverance on behalf of the Pharmacy Team at HHFT and the Local Pharmaceutical Committee. We are proud to have supported them with this medicines optimisation project.”