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New paper shares insights for safer medicines delivery

With many pharmacies reporting an increase for medication delivery services, especially for older or more vulnerable patients, the community pharmacy Patient Safety Group has developed a detailed discussion paper looking at how delivering medicines to people’s homes can be made as safe as possible.

To inform the paper, two members of the Patient Safety Group shadowed their delivery drivers for a day to gain a better understanding of the potential risks that can arise to patients, their families and to delivery drivers themselves.

A new paper looks at home delivery

The insights gathered through this shadowing exercise have been used to create tools to help delivery drivers and pharmacy teams evaluate the safety of their medicines delivery services, improving this vital community pharmacy service.

The Patient Safety Group reports that many pharmacies are already embedding these insights in their daily practice by updating delivery processes and procedures. The Group encourages pharmacies who offer, or are planning to offer, medication delivery services to read through the insights and consider how their services compare with the Group’s findings. 

José Moss, deputy superintendent at Boots UK, Patient Safety Group member and lead author of the discussion paper said: “Shadowing our delivery drivers was a thoroughly enlightening experience. We gained a true insight into the complex needs of some of our delivery patients and the unique challenges that our delivery drivers face in their day-to-day work.

“This paper comes at a time when many community pharmacy teams are building more robust policies and procedures into their pharmacy practice around safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, in line with the new quality criteria.

“We have found through our experiences that often the most vulnerable of our patients are those who are less mobile or who have substantially fewer social interactions due to being home-based. These are often the patients who receive their medications via a delivery service so we feel it is timely that we publish our insights into providing the safest possible service for these groups.”




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