This information (first published 2010) has been prepared to underpin the planning and securing of pharmaceutical services to social care settings in the three home countries. The context of planning and securing services differs between the three countries because of different administrative structures for health and social services, however we have taken the view that many of the underlying principles regarding the safe management of medicines are the same.

The introductory chapters provide background information about the importance of safe medicines management in social care settings and the way in which pharmaceutical services are being planned to mesh with and support the wider health and social care agenda. We have provided separate pages describing the organisation and future direction of pharmaceutical services for each country. We believe that the current political direction in all three countries offers the opportunities to recognise the medicines-related issues of social care settings and to utilise pharmaceutical expertise to tackle them.

This information is intended for those involved in commissioning or setting up service level agreements for pharmaceutical services to social care settings. It may also be useful to those pharmacists who are planning to offer pharmaceutical services to social care settings.

This information will help you  identify the types of service that are currently available from pharmacists and others and some of those that could be developed in the future, utilising pharmaceutical expertise, to meet the medicines-related needs of the local population.

Who is this aimed at?

The following web pages are primarily aimed at those involved in primary care organisations and social services who have responsibility to plan and secure pharmaceutical services. It identifies the pharmaceutical needs of people in social care settings and the ways in which they might be met.

We have prepared this information in consultation with stakeholders in order to ensure the widest possible input and a realistic balance of aspirations and deliverability. This builds on the RPSGB document, The Handling of Medicines in Social Care. It is not limited to care homes but also applies to other social care settings in which medicines are used e.g. domiciliary care (or care at home in Scotland), children’s homes etc.

This information should be helpful to those responsible for securing pharmaceutical services for social care settings and to pharmacists who are planning to provide pharmaceutical services to social care settings.

This information is concerned primarily with securing, developing and providing pharmaceutical services to ensure safe and legal handling of medicines in social care settings. The correct use of medicines, which can improve quality of life and avoid unnecessary costs, is closely linked with this.

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