What is Discharge Medicine Service?

The Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) became a new Essential service within the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) on 15th February 2021. NHS Trusts will be able to refer patients who would benefit from extra support with their medicines after they are discharged from hospital to their community pharmacy. As this is an essential service, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must have the necessary knowledge and competence to undertake it safely and effectively. In order to do this, they must complete the following actions:

  • Read and understand the section on DMS within the NHSE&I guidance on the regulations (Section 8)

  • Read and understand the NHS DMS toolkit

  • Complete the DMS Declaration of Competence

  • Read and understand the SOP for the service (SOP DMS)

There is also a CPPE NHS Discharge Medicines Service eLearning and assessment which is recommended but not compulsory.”

What are the service requirements?

Patients are digitally referred to their pharmacy after discharge from hospital, using IT systems such as PharmOutcomes, Refer to Pharmacy or NHSmail. Using the information in the referral, pharmacists are able to compare the patient’s medicines at discharge to those they were taking before admission to the hospital.

A check is also made when the first new prescription for the patient is issued in primary care and a consultation with the patient and/or their carer will help to ensure that they understand which medicines the patient should now be using.

Contractors need to ensure relevant staff, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, who will be involved in providing the service, have the necessary knowledge and competence to undertake it safely. As a minimum, locum pharmacists and locum pharmacy technicians who will provide the service should:

How will referrals be sent to the Pharmacy?

The following information should be included, as a minimum, in the referral:

  • The demographic and contact details of the person and their registered general practice (including their NHS number and their hospital Medical Record Number);

  • The medicines being used by the patient at discharge (including prescribed, over‑the‑counter and specialist medicines, as there may be medicines interactions), including the name, strength, form, dose, timing, frequency and planned duration of treatment for all and the reason for prescribing;

  • How the medicines are taken and what they are being taken for;

  • Changes to medicines, including medicines started or stopped, or dosage changes, and reason for the change;

  • Contact details for the referring clinician or hospital department, to use where the pharmacy has a query.

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