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Logo: NHS East of England Collaborative Procurement Hub
Easing pressures on nursing capacity in homecare medicines services delivery
20 April 2022

The Hub’s Pharmacy team has been working on several successful projects to support members in easing pressures on nursing capacity in the delivery of homecare medicines services.

More than half a million patients with chronic disease in the UK are able to manage their conditions at home with the help of homecare medicines services.  As well as supplying medication, the system can also include the provision of associated clinical services.  For example, nurses or appropriately qualified health care workers who deliver self-injection training and medicines administration to patients in their homes.

To encourage efficiencies which ease pressures on nursing resources, some of the homecare medicines services projects the Hub has been working on with members and external stakeholders include:

  • Injection training for patients which can include training for family members 
  • Staff grade / qualification criteria for different homecare service requirements (healthcare worker, nurse, specialist nurse) 
  • Use of video calling for appropriate homecare service requirements
  • Reassessment of patient to step down from ongoing nurse administration to self-injection.

One recent project involved reassessing patients receiving ongoing nurse administration of Stelara at home for gastroenterology and dermatology indications.  The pharmacy homecare team at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) worked with their clinical teams who contacted patients to discuss the option of transitioning to a self-injection care pathway.  They achieved a 35% transition rate.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) undertook a similar exercise with their gastroenterology patient cohort, achieving a 70% transition rate.

Whilst the NNUH and ESNEFT examples may have had a comparatively narrow scope, they did generate welcome efficiencies by releasing 100 nursing interventions per year.  These results could easily and quickly be replicated in other trusts.

The Hub’s Pharmacy team is keen to engage with members interested in undertaking similar projects or those who wish to explore new opportunities to ease pressures on nursing capacity in homecare medicines services.  Please contact: pharmacy@eoecph.nhs.uk.