Reduction of unnecessary medication

A PROJECT is helping ensure elderly people in care homes are taking the most effective combinations of medication.

And as part of the scheme by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the residents are also being involved in decisions about their care.

A team of various healthcare professionals – including a psychiatry of old age consultant, a pharmacist, the local GP and care home nurses – will work with residents and their families to review medication and make joint decisions about any changes.

The project, to be carried out in care homes across North Tyneside, follows on from a successful pilot at Anchor’s Walldene Court Care Home in Howdon.

Care home manager Sandra Savage said: “I requested a medication review as our residents were prescribed so much medication, some of which they didn’t seem to need any more.

“The results were amazing. We saw 30 per cent decrease in prescriptions and I saw first-hand how our residents improved as they were no longer on medication they didn’t need. They were livelier and eating and drinking more.”

Wasim Baqir, research and development pharmacist at the trust, said: “Many older people take a large number of medicines, often prescribed over a number of years.

“While these medicines may have been the most appropriate at the time they were initially prescribed, without regular review they may end up taking medicines they no longer need.

“These reviews will ensure that any medication is necessary and will highlight any alternative medication they should be taking whilst giving them a real voice in their care.”