Medicine Waste Campaign achieves national recognition

A campaign launched by NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to reduce medicine waste and help patients to make the most of their medicine has received national recognition.

The campaign delivered by NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG’s Medicine Management Team was selected for the PrescQIPP Innovation Awards and chosen by the judges as runner up in the ‘Improving medicines adherence and waste’ category. PrescQIPP is a national NHS programme which works on behalf of the prescribing community.

Helping patients to take their medicines at the right time, and in the right way, is one of the great challenges that the NHS faces nationally in terms of improvement. Medicines are wasted for various reasons such as; patients experiencing side effects which require a change in prescription or patients’ medical conditions may get worse, requiring different medication. Other reasons include; patients worrying about running out of medication and so ordering too much, forgetting how much they have in the house or actually need, or not wishing to tell the doctor they have stopped taking their medicine.

In the East Midlands alone, around £30m worth of medicines are wasted every year. That money could pay for approximately 900 community nurses, 6,000 hip replacements, 42,000 cataract operations or 5,400 knee replacements.

The campaign, which ran from April 2014 until September 2014, included innovative patient roadshows where health professionals discussed with patients the issues around medicines waste and helped individual patients with specific medicine related problems. The programme of talks included Hearing Help, Memory Lane carers groups, Swadlincote Liberation Day, Derby Lions, Derby Stroke Club and Age UK.

Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:

“We are delighted that our campaign has received national recognition. Around 50% of medicine waste is preventable so the good news is that patients, GPs and pharmacists can make a huge difference by working together to manage medicines more effectively.

“We have spent time in the community talking to patients to support them in reducing medicine waste and ensuring that they understand what they are taking their medicines for.

Our community visits have made a real difference to people. During our group sessions patients have been actively encouraged to spend time preparing for their annual medication review, asking family members or carers for help if necessary. Our aim was to empower patients to have knowledge of their medicines including what they are used for.

“We helped patients in Normanton to stay healthy during Ramadan by teaming up with Derby Open Access Centre (DOAC) and Pak Foods. Pharmacists and technicians from the Medicines Management Team were on hand at the Pak Foods Store, Normanton Road, to give advice on medicines and reducing medicines waste.”


Published: 12/11/2014