PSNC: Community pharmacy can do more to help reduce admissions

PSNC: Community pharmacy can do more to help reduce admissions

March 2, 2018

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report on the efforts being made to reduce the impact of emergency hospital admissions.

The NAO warned that the impact on hospitals of rising emergency admissions posed ‘a serious challenge’ to the service and to the financial position of the NHS.

The NHS had done well to reduce the impact, largely by reducing length of stay and growing daycase treatment, the NAO said. But it said there were still too many avoidable admissions and too much unexplained variation.

“A lot of effort is being made and progress can be seen in some areas, but the challenge of managing emergency admissions is far from being under control,” the report concluded.

The NAO set out a series of recommendations including that:

  • The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement should establish an evidence base for what works in reducing emergency admissions and use this to inform future national programmes;
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement should determine and accelerate the dissemination of the learnings from the new care models;
  • NHS England and NHS Digital should link hospital activity data with primary, community health care and social care data; and
  • The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement should develop a data led understanding of what causes local variations and set out how and by when they will reduce those variations.

Read the National Audit Office report here.

Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at PSNC, said:

“Managing emergency hospital admissions is a big issue for the health service and we are not surprised by the NAO’s conclusion that rising admissions pose a serious challenge to both the service and financial position of the NHS.

As a key part of primary care, and the healthcare providers who come into most regular contact with many patients, community pharmacies have an important role to play. We know that by helping patients to manage long-term conditions, to stay healthy and to get most benefit from their medicines, community pharmacists can help to reduce admissions and readmissions. This is particularly the case for people with respiratory conditions, and where pharmacists can help people to reduce their risk of having falls.

As the NHS seeks to reduce emergency hospital admissions while grappling with its financial and capacity issues, it simply cannot afford to overlook the very great contribution that community pharmacies could make to these efforts.”

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