Wallsend care home’s pills policy put in the spotlight

Nurse Lita Francisco with Hadrian House resident Dorothy Coats.
Nurse Lita Francisco with Hadrian House resident Dorothy Coats.

A North Tyneside care home’s pioneering approach to medication is highlighted as an example of good practice in a new film.

Wallsend’s Hadrian House, run by Prestwick Care, part of the Newcastle-based Malhotra Group, has been working with pharmacists and GPs to try to reduce the number of pills taken by its 50 residents.

The West Street home’s initiative is featured in the first of a series of five films made by national charity the Health Foundation to flag up ways of tackling challenges being faced by the National Health Service across the country.

Titled Pills: Reviewing Medication in Care Homes, it reveals how the lives of residents were improved after they and their families became more involved in decisions about their medication.

As a result of that review, the amount of medicines prescribed to residents was reduced by 17 per cent, not only saving money but also improving quality of life, by reducing drowsiness, for example.

It can be seen at www.health.org.uk/pills

“I am delighted that not only were we chosen by the Northumbria NHS Trust to be a pilot for this review into medication but that the results were so impressive,” said Sylvia Dixon, clinical governance manager for Prestwick Care.

“As the film shows, a very great deal can be achieved when people work together with a common interest, not least a better quality of life for the elderly.”

The film featuring Hadrian House is part of a series called The Power of People, and they can all be viewed on the Health Foundation’s website.

Will Warburton, director of improvement at the foundation, said: “These films show what can be achieved when people are given the time and resources to transform and improve patient care.

“There is a lot of excellent work being done in the NHS and beyond, and it’s important to celebrate that.

“We hope these films will be shared widely and inspire others to recognise the power in themselves to generate change.

“The demands on the NHS are growing, and the ideas of the people working in the health service will be essential in meeting this challenge.”