The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), in collaboration with partner organisations, has launched Involved & Informed: good community medicines support, a new initiative to encourage better medicines support for people who are receiving care at home.
The aim of the campaign is to ensure people enjoy the best possible outcomes for them, with a reduced risk of harm, through the safe use of medicines in the community.
The Involved & Informed campaign encourages health commissioners and local authorities to work together, including having a written agreement setting out clear responsibilities for home-based medicines support. This should encourage better multi-disciplinary working and ensure all parties have something to refer to.
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 homecare providers to focus on their medicines policies, so that they are as robust as possible and and in line with 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 is made up of action-orientated messages directed at specific audiences, including commissioners, social workers, Care Act assessors, homecare providers, people accessing medicines support (and their families and carers), CQC inspectors, GPs, pharmacists and NHS Acute Trusts.
Partner organisations will be sharing these messages with frontline colleagues through social media, bulletins and targeted emails.
Andy Tilden, Interim Chief Executive of Skills for Care 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.'
NICE has worked with several partner organisations on this campaign. These are: Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Local Government Association, United Kingdom Homecare Association, Care Quality Commission, Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, Think Local Act Personal, NHS England, Skills for Care, Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Royal College of General Practitioners.