Improving pharmaceutical care in care homes


As the proportion of older people in Scotland continues to grow, alongside the increasing frailty of those living longer, we need to address the health and social care needs of this population in a way that is accessible, appropriate to their care needs and also financially sustainable. In recent years pharmacists and others have become increasingly concerned about aspects of medicines safety and appropriateness in the care home setting. Therefore the RPS in Scotland decided to examine how pharmaceutical care is currently delivered in Scotland’s care homes and propose change based on available evidence.

The RPS strongly suggests that it is now time for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to commit to mandatory input from pharmacists providing pharmaceutical care to all care homes. Models of care will vary based on capacity, available skills, resources and the needs of the population in individual care homes.

The RPS believes that this report will support implementation of the Scottish Government’s Quality Strategy, Reshaping Care or Older People related strategies and policies and the integration of Health and Social Care. It is a timely report that will also inform the review of the pharmacy services in the community in 2012.

RPS undertook a review of the progress to date in summer 2017 and hosted a care homes summit in November 2018. The outputs of this work will help develop policy work in this area.