Salford launches new Transfers of Care Around Medicines project

Patients leaving hospital in Salford are now being offered extra support taking their prescribed medicines as part of a new digital health project designed to keep them safe from harm after a hospital stay.

The new Transfers of Care Around Medicines (TCAM) system provides information about a patient’s stay at hospital, along with details of medications provided and prescribed, direct to their nominated local community pharmacy. Once received, the pharmacist can arrange a consultation with the patient, if they feel it is necessary to review or change the patient’s medication and to provide support, aiming to reduce avoidable harm following discharge.

Since the project launched earlier this year, more than 350 patients have been included in the TCAM system, with 230 patients already completing a medication review with a pharmacist. All wards in the Trust are using the system which aims to reduce readmissions and the time patients spend in hospital.

Salford Royal’s Director of Pharmacy Lindsay Harper said: “Before the introduction of the TCAM system, the hospital pharmacy staff faxed information regarding a patient’s medicines to the patient’s community pharmacy when a patient was discharged.”

“Often the community pharmacy did not receive the information in a timely manner. Now with the TCAM system community pharmacists are reliably receiving the information regarding a patient’s discharge medicines much quicker. The new TCAM system has also saved time for our Pharmacy Team as the e-referral is a quicker and easier way to make a referral as it is built into the electronic patient record.”

Health Innovation Manchester is supporting the rollout of the system in the region. Dr Tracey Vell, Health Innovation Manchester’s Clinical Director, said: “Patients tell us they don’t always remember everything they are told in hospital, particularly with new medications, so it can be very helpful to have someone go through it again, discussing side effects and checking they understand how to take their medications effectively.”

“TCAM keeps people safe after they leave hospital and aims to improve their recovery. It is a great example of how digital innovation can improve the discharge process to ensure patients get the best care and have a reduced risk of harmful effects following a hospital stay. It will also deliver benefits for the hospital by reducing repeat admissions and how long patients have to stay in hospitals.”

Early research in the TCAM project has found that patients who see their community pharmacist after they’ve been in hospital are less likely to be readmitted and, if they are, will experience a shorter stay.