Medicines optimisation

Medicines optimisation is an approach that seeks to maximise clinical outcomes for patients from their medicines, with an emphasis on safety, governance, professional collaboration and patient engagement.

Pharmacy teams across South Devon provide medicines advice and support. Pharmacy teams working across South Devon include:

  • The South Devon Locality pharmacy team
  • Torbay Hospital pharmacy team
  • Devon CCG pharmacy team
  • Devon Partnership Trust pharmacy team

Locality Pharmacy team

The Locality Pharmacy team work across South Devon, providing advice and support to intermediate care teams, community nursing teams, community pharmacists and care homes. Locality pharmacists undertake medication reviews for housebound patients in their own homes because this group of patients are often unable to get to their GP surgery or community pharmacy. The team work closely with both primary and secondary care pharmacy teams.

The Locality Pharmacy team provide medication reviews within care homes. They work closely with care homes to make sure patients medicines are reviewed regularly. The team also provide a pharmacy service to Torbay and South Devon’s community hospitals. This includes polypharmacy ward rounds.

Referrals to the Locality Pharmacy team can be made by the following: GPs, Community Pharmacists, members of the Intermediate Care MDT, patients themselves and also Quality Assurance and Improvement Teams (QAITs) from Devon County and Torbay Councils.

The South Devon localities are split in to the following areas:

  • Brixham and Paignton
  • Coastal – Teignmouth and Dawlish
  • Moor to sea – Ashburton, Totnes, Buckfastleigh and Dartmouth
  • Torquay

To refer to the team or for more information please contact the Locality Pharmacy team.

Torbay Hospital Pharmacy team

The aim of the Pharmacy department at Torbay Hospital is to provide patients with medicines that are safe, appropriate, evidence-based and cost-effective.

The Pharmacy team provide a pharmacy service to both inpatient and outpatient services. Contact the Torbay Hospital team.

Devon CCG Pharmacy team

Devon Clinical Commissioning Group employs several medicines optimisation practice pharmacists and medicines optimisation technicians. The pharmacists are embedded within GP surgeries and work closely with the clinical team. They carry out a number of projects and audits to encourage cost-effective and safe prescribing that adheres to the South and West Devon Formulary and are the first port of call for medicines-related queries from patients and clinicians. Many pharmacists also run clinics within practice and work to improve safe transfer of patients between care settings through medicines reconciliation.

The technicians are predominantly office-based and support the pharmacists in their roles. They use a range of methods to identify high-cost drugs and potential areas for the pharmacists to work on in practice. Some technicians also spend time working within practices, carrying out a variety of roles that include training and support for prescription teams, synchronisation of prescriptions and safety audits. They are also involved in supporting community pharmacies with seasonal campaigns and the destruction of controlled drugs for NHS England.

Devon Partnership Trust Pharmacy team

Devon Partnership NHS Trust employs specialist mental health pharmacists and medicines optimisation technicians. Pharmacists operate in both inpatient Haytor and Beech units and community settings; helping patients to use medicines safely and effectively. Services provided include patient medication reviews, outpatient clinic appointments and providing information to patients, carers and professionals. The technicians work primarily in inpatient services where they are responsible for helping individuals learn about their medicines, ensuring the safe and secure handling of medicines and supporting professionals’ use of medicines generally.

For patients and carers a medicines helpline is in operation from 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday (tel: 01392 675 688). Professionals can seek relevant advice via email. A useful resource when seeking more information about mental health and medicines is the Choice and Medication website.

Torbay and South Devon Care Home Pharmacy team

The Care Home Pharmacy team works across South Devon, providing advice and support to care homes, covering the following areas; Brixham and Paignton, Coastal – Teignmouth and Dawlish, Moor to sea – Ashburton, Totnes, Buckfastleigh and Dartmouth, Newton Abbot, and Torquay.

The team carry out regular medication reviews with the aim of optimising medicines. This ensures they add value to residents’ health and wellbeing and may include stopping inappropriate or unsafe medicine.

The Care Home Pharmacy team can provide a number of benefits for residents and care homes:

  • Patient–centred care where resident’s and their families are involved in decision-making about their medicines
  • Supporting care home staff to manage medicines safely and effectively
  • Creating better medicines systems for care homes to reduce waste and inefficiency

The team also works closely with local GPs, community pharmacies and Quality Assurance and Improvement Teams (QAITs) from Devon County and Torbay councils.

If you would like to refer a care home to the service, or for any other enquiries, contact the Locality Pharmacy team.

Care home staff can find some excellent guidance on medicine management on the One Devon’s Caring for Care Homes page.

Useful links