DMS commences today

DMS commences today

February 15, 2021

Today (15th February 2021), sees the start of NHS Trust referrals to community pharmacies in England under the NHS Discharge Medicines Service (DMS).

This new service was originally trailed in the 5-year CPCF agreement, with a formal announcement regarding the service made by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in February 2020.

This service builds on the work that the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) have undertaken with NHS Trusts, Local Pharmaceutical Committees and pharmacy contractors over recent years, as part of the Transfer of Care Around Medicines (TCAM) programme.

Within this programme, the AHSNs worked with NHS hospitals to put in place processes and IT infrastructure to allow hospital clinicians to identify patients admitted to hospital that might benefit from being referred to their community pharmacy at discharge. Over half of English hospitals have already participated in the programme and consequently many community pharmacies are already receiving information on their patients’ medicines regimen at discharge from hospital.

The DMS has been identified by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s (NHSE&I) Medicines Safety Improvement Programme to be a significant contributor to the safety of patients at transitions of care by reducing readmissions to hospital.

Commenting on the commencement of the service, Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at PSNC said:

“The launch of the DMS is an important moment in the development of NHS community pharmacy services. The underpinning evidence for the service tells us the DMS will make a significant positive difference to safety when patients are discharged from hospital.

“The service will allow community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to make a real difference by helping their patients with their medicines following discharge from hospital, when confusion with changes to regimens and questions about new treatments can often arise.

“Importantly, the service also provides an opportunity to improve team working across pharmacy, between community, PCN and hospital pharmacy teams, which should support improved patient care and enhance professional satisfaction.”

And commenting on the rollout programme for the service:

“Whilst local TCAM services have laid the groundwork for the DMS in many areas, not all hospitals are ready to make referrals to this new national service just yet. Some NHS Trusts will first need to plan and implement the referral pathway, so rollout is expected to be gradual, with the number of referrals increasing over the year ahead.

“PSNC and NHSE&I will be monitoring referral rates over time to ensure the service is being used optimally.”

Read more about the service on our DMS webpage

Additional DMS resource published

Resources to support the rollout of the service within pharmacies are available on our DMS webpage and today, an additional resource – a DMS worksheet – has been published. The worksheet can be used by pharmacy contractors where they do not yet have access to an IT system to support the creation of full clinical records for the service.

Download the PSNC DMS worksheet and other resources

NHS England and NHS Improvement, and NHS Digital are helping pharmacy IT system suppliers to develop functionality within their systems to support the provision of the DMS, including the transfer of the necessary data to the NHS Business Service Authority’s Manage Your Service (MYS) portal.


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