Enhanced medicines service supporting local people at home

An enhanced medicines support at home service (MESH) is supporting local people to take control of their medicines. The MESH service, funded by NHS Bradford City and Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), gives medicines management support at home to people in Bradford.

The service, which started in April 2017, enables people to receive care closer to home and avoids unnecessary admissions to hospital. It is aimed at people who regularly take 10 or more medicines, are unsure of what their medicines are for, regularly forget to take their medicines, or are not feeling the benefit of taking the medicines they are prescribed.

Medicines waste is a big issue across the NHS, costing around £300m every year. For patients diagnosed with a long term condition such as diabetes, it is estimated that up to 50% of prescribed medicines are not taken as recommended and that just 10 days after starting a new medicine, 30% of patients are already non-adherent.

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Image: example of medicines waste found by the MESH team

Over 1,000 MESH reviews have been completed with many people having found the service to be extremely beneficial to the patient experience. So far, over 97% of people asked were extremely likely or likely to recommend the service to a friend or family member. 

Dr Sohail Abbas, GP and clinical lead, Bradford CCGs, said: “It is important for patients who are often prescribed a lot of medicines to understand what they are taking and what it is for. People may still be prescribed medicines that they no longer need as their health may have changed, which means that they won’t be receiving the benefits of taking that drug. The MESH service is also beneficial for people who have medicines at home that they no longer take.

“People can be referred into the service by their GP, a community worker, pharmacist or social worker. Carers can also flag to a health professional where they feel as though there may be a need for additional support around medicines use.”

Claire Standage, pharmacist manager for the MESH service, Prescribing Support Services, said: “The feedback we have had from patients who have received a visit has been fantastic, especially around how informative the visits have been and how beneficial the support has been in helping people better understand and organise their medicines.

“Our team listens to what people want to do with their medicines as well as providing advice and guidance. As well as the clinical benefit of understanding your medicines, the MESH team helps reduce stockpiling of medicines which contributes hugely to medicines waste.”

More information about the MESH service can be found on the Prescribing Support at Home Services website.