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Author: Age Cymru
Published on 03 November 2011 09:00 AM

Age Cymru is supporting the new NHS Wales 'Home from Hospital' medicines service set up in Welsh community pharmacies.

Our Healthy Ageing ManagerClaire Bottomley says:

"Age Cymru welcomes this initiative that has simplicity and effectiveness at its heart.

"In providing a seamless continuity of supply of hospital prescribed medicines when required by older people upon discharge from hospital, the service ensures that potentially vulnerable older people are getting the right medication at the right time, thus avoiding duplication of old and new prescriptions.

"The fact that relatives and carers may help by accessing the service will also be a source of relief and support to older people."

She adds:

"Their local pharmacist is often a valued community based contact for information about older people's medicines and healthcare.

"As we approach winter, and the anticipated pressures on hospital bed occupancy, it is vital that unnecessary re-admissions due to poor medicines management is avoided at all cost – including to the wellbeing of older people."

Russell Goodway, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Wales, comments:

"Welsh community pharmacies are delighted to be working with Age Cymru to promote this innovative service.

It is important that older people who can benefit from this pharmacy service know about it so that they can ask for it and we know that Age Cymru's very effective communication network will assist in this."

The service will mean there will be a third discharge letter for patients leaving hospital which will go to the patient's regular pharmacy, as well as the one going to their GP and one for themselves.

The patient, or their approved relative or carer, can also take the discharge letter direct to the pharmacy where the pharmacist will be able to go through their medicines before and during their hospital stay to ensure they have the best prescriptions for after they get home.

It is hoped this will reduce the thousands of patients every year in Wales who have to be readmitted to hospital because of medication errors.

Community Pharmacy Wales is distributing bilingual posters and leaflets, to inform patients how to access the new service, to over 700 pharmacies across Wales as well as to Age Cymru partners, hospital discharge offices, social services offices, community centres, libraries and other outlets.

Welsh community pharmacies are also supporting Age Cymru in the Keep Well This Winter campaign and are displaying the checklist with advice on medicines, healthcare and other help for older people to keep safe and healthy over the winter.

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444