For further information contact alistair.gray@elht.nhs.uk

What we do

Refer-to-Pharmacy is the world’s first fully integrated hospital to community pharmacy referral system. It allows the hospital pharmacy team to work with community pharmacists to help our patients get the best from their medicines and to stay healthy at home.

Refer-to-Pharmacy has received several awards since it went live:

  • Best Emerging Technology or IT award at the 2016 Patient Safety Congress.
  • Leadership in Pharmacy at the 2016 Royal Pharmaceutical Society conference
  • Best IT Product at the 2016 Building Better Healthcare awards
  • Innovation Champion at the 2017 North West Coast Research & Innovation awards

Not all referral systems are the same. ELHT started off the referral journey relying on patients taking their discharge letters to their community pharmacists in person – it didn’t work. An article in the Pharmaceutical Journal compares current systems around the world – judge for yourself. A greater exploration of Refer-to-Pharmacy can be found in this article from Pharmacy Magazine.

For up to the minute news and outcome data get the mobile ‘app’ at bit.ly/r2pharm (works well in Chrome too).

The Refer-to-Pharmacy system has been built and designed to be spread to other health economies. Its use leads to reduced hospital admissions, improved patient safety and reductions in medicine waste. 

Dedicated Ward Pharmacy Service

The Dedicated Ward Pharmacy service is where a pharmacist spends their entire day on the same ward (rather than providing a service 2, 3 or even 4 wards). They accompany the consultant-led ward round making sure the right medicine choices are made, all queries are resolved, and important things like VTE prophylaxis and antimicrobial stewardship happen.

They then stay on the ward afterwards to make sure post-ward round activities, discharge planning, and patient counselling happen too.

The pharmacy technician concentrates on medicines reconciliation and preparing the medicine elements of patients’ electronic discharge letters.

What we have found is that patients are getting better faster, they’re going home earlier in the day, and they’re staying healthy at home. That is, there’s been a reduction in length of stay and readmissions rates, and an improvement in medicines safety and patient/staff experience; and drug expenditure is reduced too.

To find out more read the Hospital Pharmacy Europe article about what we did and what we found – there’s a nice editorial too. http://www.hospitalpharmacyeurope.com/featured-articles/dedicated-ward-pharmacists-make-impact

How to access the service

Refer-to-Pharmacy allows hospital pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to refer you directly to your community pharmacist for free NHS services such as the New Medicine Service or a Discharge Medication Review.

Where to find us

The service is based at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital. However, to find your nearest Pharmacy, please check the NHS Choices website.

General enquiries

To find out how Refer-to-Pharmacy can benefit you or your health economy contact: Alistair.gray@elht.nhs.uk

Opening times

To find the opening times of your local Pharmacy, check the NHS Choices website.