SMR guidance includes referrals to New Medicine Service

SMR guidance includes referrals to New Medicine Service

September 20, 2020

New NHS guidance for Primary Care Networks (PCNs) on the provision of Structured Medication Reviews (SMR) includes referrals being made to the community pharmacy New Medicine Service.

The guidance has been published by NHS England and NHS Improvement to support PCN clinical pharmacy teams with implementation of the structured medication review and optimisation service requirements in the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service Specification for 2020/21. PCNs are asked to proactively consider all aspects of the guidance when planning, implementing and delivering the service.

The guidance outlines how each PCN will identify and prioritise patients who would benefit from a SMR, including those:

  • in care homes;
  • with complex and problematic polypharmacy, specifically those on 10 or more medications;
  • on medicines commonly associated with medication errors;
  • with severe frailty, who are particularly isolated or housebound or who have had recent hospital admissions and/or falls; and
  • using potentially addictive pain management medication.

It also notes reactive triggers for an SMR could include requests for monitored dosage systems as an aid to managing multiple medicines – when a patient, carer or healthcare professional seeks the addition of a monitored dosage system as a means to manage multiple medicines.

The guidance outlines how PCNs should work with community pharmacies to connect patients appropriately to the New Medicine Service which supports adherence to newly prescribed medicines.

PCNs are also encouraged to implement a referral process as part of an integrated pathway to access the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service so that a patient can have a confidential consultation to receive advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses.

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