New medication pilot increases nurses’ time to care at The Royal Oldham Hospital
AN innovative pharmacy project which will allow nurses to spend more time providing direct patient care is already paying dividends on a ward at The Royal Oldham Hospital.
In the 12 month pilot programme two registered (GPhC) pharmacy technicians, Carly Bullough and Amanda Jackson, have been seconded to administer oral and non-invasive medication to inpatients during the weekday morning and lunchtime medication rounds in a bid to reduce missed, delayed and withheld doses.
The pharmacy technicians have both undergone extensive medicine management training before administering medication unsupervised to inpatients. They are also able to offer on the spot advice, support and guidance to nursing and medical staff regarding medication supply, administration and safe storage of medication.
Joanne Appleton, chief pharmacy technician at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “This project is at the forefront of pharmacy services; we believe that we are the first NHS Trust in the region to offer this service to an acute ward like G2. We felt that we could address the instances of missed and delayed doses of medication to inpatients by pharmacy technicians administering the medication. Nurses are constantly interrupted when they are administering medication - this service is far safer and more patient focused enabling the nurses to have more time to care for patients.
Carly, one of the pharmacy technicians involved in the project, said; “We have the experience and knowledge, as well as time, to encourage patients to take their medication. Before we leave the ward for the day we ensure medication is available for the nurses to administer evening and night time doses.”
Amanda said: “Based on a pre-audit we carried out and an audit carried out four months into the project we estimate that we save nurses an average of 9.5 hours per day. We feel enthusiastic and believe this project is having a direct positive impact on patients during their stay at The Royal Oldham Hospital.”
Sherryl Thomas, ward manager on ward G2, said: “The project has enabled more quality time and hands on care to be given to the patients. The medication administration technician frees up nursing time and has been beneficial for staff nurses to utilise that time in other areas, depending on the needs of the patients. The project has also enabled medications to be dispensed, ordered and received in a timely manner, benefiting the patients and patient flow.”
Patient Keith Leary on ward G2, (pictured) said: “Amanda and Carly are excellent pharmacy assistants. They are knowledgeable about the medication they dispense and take an interest in their patients. They ask if a patient requires a medication which isn’t dispensed on every occasion and ensure that the patient is aware of the reason for taking it.”
Pictured above top is patient Keith Leary with Carly Bullough, pharmacy technician administering medication.