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A rapid review and narrative synthesis of hospital to community pharmacy transfer of care services in England

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hamde Nazar, Neil Watson


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© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Pharmaceutical Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: OBJECTIVES: A new discharge medicines service in England has been proposed for rollout in July 2020. This study aims to appraise the evidence for hospital to community pharmacy referral services in England. A rapid review methodology was adopted, findings were synthesised and reported narratively. The PubMed search engine was used and specific pharmacy journals were searched in March 2020. Studies published since 2012, reporting on transfer of care (ToC) services provided from hospitals and community pharmacies in England were included. Study data analysed included clinical outcomes; findings relating to implementation, staff and patient perceptions and experiences. Studies were assessed for risk of bias using a critical appraisal checklist. KEY FINDINGS: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. The ToC services varied in relation to patients targeted, mode of referral, and post-discharge service provided. There were some conservative observations that ToC services were associated with reduced hospital readmission rates, however other outcomes were less well substantiated. Pharmacy staff were generally supportive of these services for patient benefit, however, patient engagement and accessibility issues have been reported. SUMMARY: There is some emerging evidence that hospital to community pharmacy referral services are associated with reduced hospital readmission. Service delivery reported in these studies highlights barriers and facilitators to patient recruitment, engagement and follow-up and limitations on recording and measuring meaningful outcomes. Future work is recommended to take advantage of the implementation and delivery of the national service that includes the analysis of patient data at scale to substantiate evidence in this area.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nazar H, Howard C, Nazar Z, Watson NW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Pharmacy Practice

Year: 2021

Volume: 29

Issue: 2

Pages: 96-105

Print publication date: 01/04/2021

Online publication date: 10/12/2020

Acceptance date: 07/10/2020

ISSN (print): 0961-7671

ISSN (electronic): 2042-7174

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ijpp/riaa004

PubMed id: 33729520


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