Medication errors among residents in care homes are, unfortunately, common. There is often a lack of communication between medical staff, pharmacies and care professionals which can lead to the wrong medicines or doses being given to residents.
Professor David Alldred and colleagues delved deep into GP and care home records, pharmacies and medicine administration methods and found that errors were common. They recommended a cooperative approach between GP surgeries, pharmacies and care homes to ensure that medicines are regularly reviewed and that one professional should have oversight of managing medicines.
This extensive research significantly contributed to the conception, design and implementation of the NHS England Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes Programme. This was a £20 million scheme that trained 356 new pharmacy professionals across the country to work alongside care homes. The research gathered media attention and featured on national television and radio and in the national press. The research also informed guidance for the inspection of care homes to ensure that the health and wellbeing of residents is paramount. Translating the research into practice means that care home residents are now receiving better and safer care.