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National award for Solihull pharmacists helping elderly patients regain independence

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Solihull Community Services pharmacists have won a national award for their project that helps nursing home patients recover quicker, return home sooner and take their medications safely.

The Heart of England Foundation Trust team led by Jackie Yates has won the PrescQIPP Innovation Award for Patient Safety.

The project commissioned by Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) provides pharmacy services to the intermediate care facility at Arden Lea Court nursing home. Intermediate care helps people stay out of hospital or long-term residential care and remain in the comfort of their own homes wherever possible. Most of the patients in the home’s intermediate care beds have come from hospital for help to regain their independence. Jackie and her team review their medicines and with their help the average time spent in an intermediate care bed at the home has dropped from 55 days to 28.

Jackie said: “Where possible we have supported patients to take their medications themselves while in Arden Lea so that when they go home they can be safe and independent. They now take the information about their medications with them and this also makes their transfer home safer.”

Solihull CCG’s Assistant Head of Medicines, Nilima Rahman-Lais, said: “As well as helping patients, this new role supports GPs who provide medical cover to the service, the nurses working for the care home and also the wider intermediate care team.”

Jackie, who is also Prescribing Support Pharmacist to GP practices for the CCG, and Nilima received the Patient Safety Award from Carol Roberts, PrescQIPP Chief Executive at a ceremony in Leicester. PrescQIPP is an organisation that helps NHS organisations to improve medicines-related care to patients.

Photo: Carol Roberts (left), Chief Executive of PrescQIPP presents the Patient Safety Award to Nilima Rahman-Lais (centre) and Jackie Yates.