Medicines Optimisation Roadshow event

1st June 2015

The PPRS / Medicines Optimisation Roadshow for the North East and North Cumbria, jointly hosted by NHS England, the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI) and the AHSN NENC, arrived in Newcastle upon Tyne last week on its penultimate stop of the national tour. Following introductions from Dr Seamus O’Neill, CEO of the AHSN NENC and Neil Watson, Medicines Optimisation Programme Lead, AHSN NENC the audience was given a national perspective on patients, Medicines Optimisation and the PPRS by Dr Bruce Warner, Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, NHS England.

The Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) is an important agreement that provides sustainability and predictability for the NHS. It supports both value for money and economic growth for the UK, and a fair return on the investment that companies make in researching and developing new medicines. Under the scheme, which runs from 2014 – 2018 and covers 93% of branded medicines, the pharmaceutical industry has agreed to keep NHS expenditure flat for 2 years and within agreed controlled growth for a further 3 years.

An overview of the partnership with Industry was provided by Harriet Lewis, Regional NHS Partnership Manager (North), ABPI and Christina McArthur, NICE Implementation Consultant (North), provided an interesting perspective on NICE guidance around Medicines Optimisation and the new Medicines in Care Homes guidance which has been recently published.

The newly updated Medicines Optimisation Dashboard, which was released on Friday 22nd May 2015, was presented to the audience by Dr Warner. The dashboard is presented to allow local NHS organisations to highlight variation in local practice and provoke discussion on the appropriateness of local care. This new version of the dashboard includes refreshed data sets and is presented in a format that makes it easier to navigate and compare across AHSNs boundaries, and with similar CCGs through the CCG clusters. Janette Stephenson, Head of Medicines Optimisation, North of England Commissioning Support (NECS), provided a review of local data and gave some examples where the data could direct local health improvement projects.

The session before lunch provided the Patient Perspective with presentations from Simon Lloyd, Tyneside Kidney Patients’ Association, Bev Wears from the British Lung Foundation and Gwen Young from Diabetes UK. The experiences they shared were incredibly insightful and provided plenty of food for thought before the break.

The afternoon session began with a presentation of local case studies from projects funded by the AHSN NENC. Steven Brice, Assistant Director of Pharmacy, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS FT, gave a progress update on the Transfer of Care project which is initially focusing on referrals from hospital to community pharmacy using the web-based PharmOutcomes.

Sue Hart, AHSN NENC Respiratory Programme Lead, presented some data on COPD care following her project in Newcastle West. The findings in this project have directed the AHSN’s Respiratory Programme, currently being developed, which aims to improve the confidence and ability of community nurses and pharmacists to deal with COPD patient care through the provision of a specialised training programme.

There were 3 afternoon workshops which gave delegates the opportunity to focus in on some of the issues that are of key importance locally and develop ideas for future projects within the AHSN NENC’s Medicines Optimisation Programme.