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NHS to refer discharged patients to pharmacists

The government has announced that pharmacists will be asked to contact recently discharged hospital patients to offer advice on medications.

The plans are part of a “pharmacy first” programme to help relieve burden on the NHS by preventing thousands of preventable readmissions.

The Department of Health said 79% of patients were discharged and prescribed at least one new medication.

Later this year, hospital’s will be able to send a “digital referral” to pharmacies asking them to contact patients who would benefit from support.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:” These new services will help strengthen what community pharmacists can do, helping interrelation with general practice and hospitals, and help them deliver safer, more efficient patient care right across the NHS.”.

Previous local schemes have shown that patients who see a pharmacist after they’ve been in hospital are less likely to be readmitted and will experience a shorter stay if they are.

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