Recruiting sufficient numbers of nurses can provide a challenge for hospitals. Pharmacists have been identified as being able to support nurses by taking on medicines management tasks alongside traditional nursing responsibilities such as medicines administration and discharge planning.1 At Barts Health NHS Trust there was increased pressure on nursing staff particularly on one of the complex medical wards during the winter pressure months. Paediatric pharmacists were identified as being able to support nurse:Method
A pilot project on one paediatric medical ward was started in February 2016. The pharmacist is supernumerary to standard ward pharmacy service, reporting to the ward manager and lead pharmacist. Working hours are 9 am–5 pm Monday to Friday.Method
Intensive training was provided over 2.5 weeks with subsequent sign off for administration of oral medication, 2nd checking for intravenous (IV) medication and IV giving.Method
Drug listing for discharge prescription (TTA) was introduced, which involves a discussion with the doctor for medicines on discharge, transcribing these onto the TTA and using ward based dispensing where possible. Results were collected pre and post implementation.Conclusion
The role of the medicines facilitation pharmacist has been very well received by the nursing staff and the pharmacist is now an integral part of the ward team. The pharmacist was able to save a significant amount of nursing time and reduced risks of delayed and missed doses significantly and is able to provide continuous input into all aspects of medicines management. The average discharge time has reduced to substantially due to improved discharge planning, drug listing and ward based dispensing.