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The 'Help for Harry' Discharge Referral Service

Help for Harry

This is a FREE service that provides help, advice and support following your discharge. It focuses on you, the patient and contributes to your positive health outcome. A referral is made to your chosen nominated community pharmacy that will provide one of the advanced services on offer within the community pharmacy. These are called Medicines Use Review (MUR) and the New Medicine Service (NMS).

The following acronym highlights the benefits of participating in this service– 

Have a MUR/NMS
Ask a question/share a doubt
Review your medicines/lifestyle
Rest assured your regime is right
Your community pharmacy team is there for you

What is the Medicine Use Review (MUR)?

The MUR service is a structured review that is undertaken by a Pharmacist to help patients to manage their medicines more effectively.
It involves the Pharmacist reviewing your use of medicines, ensuring you understand how to take your medicines and why you have been prescribed them, identifying any problems and, if necessary, providing feedback to your GP.

An MUR is a way to –

• Improve your understanding of your medicines
• Highlight problematic side effects and propose solutions where appropriate
• Improve adherence
• Reduce medicines waste, usually by encouraging you to only order the medicines you require

What does it involve?

Your nominated Community Pharmacist will normally ask you to bring your medication (including purchased medicines) with you to the review.  A set of questions has been developed to guide the conversation and supports the Pharmacist in obtaining the maximum amount of information from your perspective.

Discussions may include –
• What you think each medicine is for and when and how you take it
• How compliant you are with the prescribers instructions
• How and when you take medicines labeled ‘as required’ or ‘as directed’
• Advice on tolerability and perceived side effects
• Dealing with practical problems in ordering, obtaining, taking and using medicines
• Identification of unwanted medicines
• Identification of a potential change of dosage from to facilitate effective use
• Proposals for dose or strength optimisation

What is the New Medicine Service (NMS)?

This has been designed to provide you with early support to maximise the benefits of the medication that you have been newly prescribed. Intervention by a Pharmacist can help to improve your adherence to new medicine and this service is prescribed as “after-sales service” for patients starting new medicines.

The NMS is provided to you if you have been newly prescribed a medicine in one of the following conditions/therapy areas –
• Asthma and COPD
• Type 2 Diabetes
• Antiplatelet/Anticoagulant therapy
• Hypertension

The NMS is split into 3 sections –
1. Patient Engagement
Following the prescribing of a new medicine covered by the service, you will be asked if you want to have a referral and participate in this service

2. Intervention
This typically takes place between 7-14 days after first patient engagement at an agreed time and by a method that suits you, either face-to-face or by telephone.
Your Community Pharmacist will use an interview schedule to assess the patient’s adherence, identify problems and your need for further information and support that will be provided

3. Follow up
The Community Pharmacist will follow up with you 14-21 days after the intervention to check everything is ok and you are fully compliant with your new medicine/medical regime.

Keeping you safe when you transfer between care providers

It is widely accepted that when patients move between care providers the risk of miscommunication and unintentional changes to medicines is a significant problem.  It has been reported that between 30-70% of patients have either an error or an unintentional change to their medicines when their care is transferred.
Around 4-5% of hospital admissions are due to preventable problems with medicines. Community pharmacies can play a key role in reducing unnecessary admissions to hospital due to preventable problems with medicines.
Getting the transfer of medicines information right can be challenging as patients follow complex pathways and systems vary between providers. However greater collaboration between professionals can make a real difference to patient safety. This is being achieved through our ‘HELP FOR HARRY’ discharge referral service because we are implementing the MUR and NMS, ensuring that you, the patient, gets maximum benefit from your medicines when you are in hospital and when you return home, following your discharge.

Our ‘HELP FOR HARRY’ discharge referral service is acknowledged within the RPS ‘Hospital Referral to Community Pharmacy’ Innovators Toolkit, proving how useful it is. Read more here

Your community Pharmacist can help you with your medicines
You can ask questions about your medicines at any time