The first research collaboration in the U.K. among a hospital, university and community pharmacist is taking place through a project from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and LloydsPharmacy. The collaboration aims to improve the way patients use their medicines outside hospitals and will be carried out in the newly opened Center for Pharmacy Innovation at the LJMU School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences.
Research will initially focus on identifying improvements in how patients’ medicines are managed and prescribed when patients are admitted to the hospital and when they are discharged and must continue taking medicine. The research aims to find a new process that provides safe and effective management of medicines for patients from the hospital to the community with an enhanced role for community pharmacies. The new model will be piloted at the Royal and evaluated with the aim of providing a new way of working for hospitals and pharmacies across the U.K.
The project also will support the development of a post-graduate education and training program to better equip community pharmacy teams with the skills to advise patients about their health, from minor ailments to diabetes and asthma control, providing a resource for the wider NHS community and pharmacy profession.
Alison Ewing, clinical director of pharmacy at the Trust and chair in pharmacy innovation at LJMU’s Faculty of Science, is leading the strategy for the research program. Ewing said, "Many patients find it difficult to manage their medication when they are discharged from hospital and this often leads to their health deteriorating and they end of having to come back into hospital. The NHS aims to make greater use of community pharmacies to support patients outside hospitals. Our research aims to find ways in which hospital and community pharmacies can work together so that patients can benefit from greater support in managing their medication better.
Andrew Willetts, healthcare solutions director leading the project on behalf of LloydsPharmacy, said, "With pressure on the NHS continuing to rise and patient safety being more important than ever, there is an opportunity for pharmacy to alleviate this pressure by providing hospitals with an approved clinical pathway.”