Pharmacy & Medicines Optimisation Benchmarking - 2016 findings published

The Network’s Pharmacy & Medicines Optimisation project has had its second round of benchmarking, previously having run in 2014/15.

The Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation benchmarking project is one of the Network’s newest projects and this second phase has had excellent levels of contribution with almost 160 organisations taking part.  The project’s content has been developed in partnership with pharmacists from across the UK and data reporting is now available online through the NHS Benchmarking Network’s website. Participants can view their position on the benchmarked metrics via the online tool accessible through the Network website members’ area:

In addition to the online toolkit, members can access a national report, which provides illustrative charts from the online tool and for the first time this year, bespoke reports will also be made available to project participants.  A good practice compendium is available for download from the members’ area. This contains 98 pages of good practice covering a range of topics including approaches to 7 day working, use of blister packs and pharmacists’ authority to make changes to drugs charts.

This project is closely linked to our parallel Commissioner / Primary Care Pharmacy benchmarking which aims to support CCG/Health Board Medicines Management teams. A total of 36 organisations provided data to the latest phase of this project.

Highlights from 2015/16

  • The project highlighted key changes taking place in Pharmacy, such as the significant growth in medicines spend, the growth of homecare and the increased focus on clinical pharmacy (and pharmacist prescribers).
  • Despite the focus on 7-day services, the results of this project show little change in availability of the services across the weekend and out of hours period. The results also show challenges in high CIP targets, above average staff turnover and issues such as low levels of mandatory anti-microbial training.
  • It is encouraging to note an increase in the number of Chief Pharmacists reporting directly to an Executive director (71%, up from 68%). Indicators such as low sickness rates, low vacancy rates and high levels of completion of annual performance appraisals indicate good management of pharmacy services and this is reflected by the reported performance against the RPS standards which has improved from 82% to 85%.
  • The project also covers the RPS hospital standards and results for the second round of the project show higher mean compliance across the standards, with a 3 percentage point increase for overall compliance. This is likely to be a reflection of provider organisations’ use of the standards to identify priority areas for improvement.

Following positive feedback from participants the project will run again in 2017 with a similar timetable to 2016. All participating organisations in the exercise will be contacted for feedback and suggestions on how to enhance the next phase of the project.

For more information on this work please contact:

Aidan Rawlinson
Project Manager

David Hughes

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