Wales' discharge medicines review (DMR) service benefits patients and the NHS but suffers from a lack of awareness, an evaluation commissioned by Community Pharmacy Wales has found.
The pharmacy service for patients recently discharged from hospital offered a three-fold return on investment by preventing unnecessary A&E attendances, hospital admissions and drug wastage, found the academic evaluation, given to C+D on August 13.
But there was a lack of awareness of the DMR among patients and GPs, found the study, carried out by researchers from the Universities of Cardiff, South Wales and Bradford between 2013 and March 2014.
Patients said they valued the input of a pharmacist but only two out of the six patients who received a DMR and were interviewed in the study said they had heard of the service. There was also "little to no knowledge" of the DMR among the five GPs interviewed for the research and few hospital referrals.
Multiples with over 25 branches had taken a "strategic" decision to become involved in the service and had completed 56 per cent of the total DMRs, while independent pharmacies had made up less than a third of the claims, the evaluation found.
The study recommended that uptake of the DMR should be increased across Wales and the service promoted to all stakeholders.
The two-part DMR service is designed to help improve the transfer of medicines information between secondary and primary care and improve medicines adherence. Consultations are carried out face-to-face or over the phone and relatives or carers can also hand over discharge letters to pharmacists on the patient's behalf.
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What do you think should be done to raise awareness of the DMR service?