New guidance has been published showing how the New Medicine Service and post discharge Medicines Use Reviews can be used to provide a seamless care pathway for patients who transfer from hospital to the community setting.

It has been developed and published by NHS Employers and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee working with a hospital and community pharmacy reference group.

The guidance has been endorsed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Hospitals and community pharmacists can use the support tools to formalise how they share information about changes to patients’ prescriptions. This will help ensure patients get the right medicines and the most value from them when they transfer care, as well as potentially reduce the risk of hospital readmissions.

To support the transfer of care a national referral form has been developed that can, with patient consent, be used by hospitals and pharmacists to transfer patient information.

The New Medicine Service and targeted Medicines Use Reviews were introduced on 1 October 2011 and aim to enhance patients’ understanding and adherence to their medicines. It is important that hospital clinicians now increase their understanding of the NMS and MURs so they can refer patients into these services.

Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer at the Department of Health said: “These documents are a practical way to help community pharmacists and hospital colleagues make sure that the patient’s medication regime and any information they are given is consistent during the transfer of care. They will help underpin a safe and beneficial approach to MURs and NMS provided to patients post discharge.”