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Case Studies


The Innovation Case Studies section provides a comprehensive list of exemplar innovation projects from across the NHS. These innovations have been carefully selected to represent a range of ideas from medical technologies through to service and pathway re design. Each case study provides a background to the innovation and a contact for further information.

 Click on the Case Study Browse area on the right to find examples by clinical area.

If you have an innovation case study you would like us to publish on the portal please contact the Innovation team at england.innovation@nhs.net

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Refer-to-Pharmacy: get the best from your medicines and stay healthy at home

Case study arrowRefer-to-Pharmacy allows the hospital pharmacy team to refer eligible patients to their regular community pharmacy for post-discharge support with their medicines.

There was no easy and reliable way to inform community pharmacists which of their patients were coming out of hospital, and ensuring they had all the information to carry out an effective consultation. This project aimed to:

  • Refer patients electronically to their community pharmacist, allowing viewable access to discharge letters
  • Improve medicines adherence through patients understanding and taking their medicines as intended 
  • Reduce re-admissions to hospital and Emergency Department attendances 
  • Reduce the cost of wasted medicines (by informing community pharmacists on admission that their patient won’t be requiring medicines during their hospital stay and updated medicine details automatically being sent on discharge)

A wide group of stakeholders have supported the project including:

  • Webstar-Health (a software provider worked with ELHT IT department to build and test the IT interfaces),
  • Lancashire Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) support which kick-started the whole development,
  • The Royal Pharmaceutical Society backed the system (and subsequently produced a referrals toolkit to help other health economies www.rpharms.com/referraltoolkit)
  • North West Coast AHSN provided support to raise awareness of the scheme locally and nationally, and produced evaluation of Refer-to-Pharmacy,
  • The Centre for Postgraduate Pharmacy Education has produced an online training package to help pharmacists and technicians with referrals and interpret discharge letters https://www.cppe.ac.uk/programmes/l/transfer-e-01/. They also helped develop a local training package to support the launch with evening training sessions and Manchester University School of Pharmacy to carry out a service evaluation of the scheme

Key enablers of success

  • Having a core of people dedicated to making Refer-to-Pharmacy a reality in East Lancashire, and setting out from the start to create awareness 
  • Training events for local community pharmacists to help them utilize the system more effectively, interpret discharge letters and gain improved consultation skills

Funding source Logo


Contact Name Alistair Gray Email address alistair.gray@elht.nhs.uk

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