In February 2021, the NHS Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) was introduced as a national, essential service for community pharmacies in England. The DMS service built directly on the learning and reach that the AHSN TCAM programme had already delivered. This service uses a digital platform to enable trusts to communicate with a patient’s usual community pharmacy about changes to their medication when they leave hospital. Through our successful roll out of TCAM, the AHSNs created a foundation for embedding the national DMS service. The legacy of resources created during the TCAM programme were made available for any new trust coming to this service.
Two years later, government data has been released which shows community pharmacy has claimed for around 216,700 patient referrals from hospitals, through the DMS service, with more referrals for patients from deprived neighbourhoods. The original evidence base created by the TCAM work demonstrated a reduction in readmissions at 30, 60, and 90 days. This strong evidence base has continued under the DMS service with one 30-day readmission avoided for every 10-23 admissions, according to the latest government data. Extrapolating data to January 2023, the government estimates that between 9,420 and 21,667 readmissions have been avoided since the service started.
Access useful resources and learning about TCAM, now called the NHS Discharge Medicines Service.