Supporting the NHS Long Term Plan

PillTime is a growing NHS pharmacy. Not only do we help patients, but the NHS, too.  Here’s how the service aligns seamlessly with the NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS goal-setting

On January 7th 2019, the NHS published a new action plan. Entitled ‘The NHS Long Term Plan’, the document details the NHS’s agenda for the next 10 years. These targets aim to lead us into a new era of healthcare. The NHS is a global healthcare leader. With a wide-reaching strategy for the future, this is set to continue.

However, healthcare dominates headlines almost daily. Healthcare funding is widely speculated about. With Brexit on the horizon and increasing service demands, the NHS remains in the public spotlight more than ever. As such, it seems a mean feat to summarise the institution’s main targets.

Nevertheless, the document is prescriptive. It provides a good basis for healthcare partners. The plan aligns with ongoing priorities. The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, touched on these priorities in his address at the 2018 NHS Expo. Back in the Autumn, Hancock spoke of better joined-up healthcare. He stressed that we have excellent technology at our fingertips. Using this technology properly is the key objective. The NHS Long Term Plan reiterates this.

NHS Long Term Plan chapter summaries:

  • 1: Sets out how the NHS will move to a new service model. Patients will have more options, more support and properly joined up care.
  • 2: Details NHS-funded action that will boost the prevention of poor health and healthcare inequalities.
  • 3: Sets NHS’s priorities for improvement in care outcomes.
  • 4: Addresses current workforce pressures and staff support.
  • 5: Discusses the funded programme set up to advance technology and digitally enabled care.
  • 6: Sets out how the 3.4% five year funding programme will aid financial stability.
  • 7: Explains next steps in implementing the NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS-Long-Term-Plan

How PillTime contributes to the NHS Long Term Plan

PillTime is an NHS pharmacy with a big ambition. We embrace technology to deliver a more efficient medication service. Our free service tackles adherence and long-term medication management.

We already have strong links with NHS colleagues in all sectors. Embracing innovation, PillTime contributes to improvements that have a lasting effect. As our ethos is rooted within the NHS’s agenda, we were all over this document. We’ve analysed the plan and noted any key cross-overs with the PillTime ethos. Here’s what we came up with:

1. Reducing hospital admissions for care home residents

“1.1.3 Evidence suggests that many people living in care homes are not having their needs assessed and addressed as well as they could be, often resulting in unnecessary, unplanned and avoidable admissions to hospital and sub-optimal medication regimes.”

PillTime aids medication management in care homes. We dispense everything a resident needs for one dose into a single pouch. These dose-specific pouches makes administration much simpler. The clear labelling makes it easy to see who needs what and when. So, carers find it easier to cater to many patients or those with complex needs. With swifter administration and no need to sort doses, staff have more time to provide vital care and support to residents.

2. Supporting people to age well

“1.16. People are now living far longer, but extra years of life are not always spent in good health [7] , as Table 1 shows. They are more likely to live with multiple long-term conditions…”

Due to better healthcare, more people are living for longer. This also means that people are more likely to live with long-term health conditions. As a result, people often need medication to best manage their health. PillTime makes it simple for people to manage multiple medications. Our pouches help people stay on track, so they can stay independent for longer.

3. Quicker hospital discharge

“1.34. The NHS and social care will continue to improve performance at getting people home without unnecessary delay when they are ready to leave hospital, reducing risk of harm to patients…”

PillTime pouches replace traditional compliance aids. The pouches are produced more quickly and safely than traditional trays. So, if patients need a medication support to take home, they needn’t wait for a tray. Pouches aid a speedier discharge process.

Pouches are helpful on-ward, too. Our ongoing project with Salford Royal shows great progress. Nursing staff use PillTime pouches on medication rounds. Staff love these pouches, as it makes administration more efficient. Read more about the Salford collaboration here.

4. Person-centred care

“1.37. But the NHS also needs a more fundamental shift in how we work alongside patients and individuals to deliver more person-centred care, recognising – as National Voices has championed – the importance of ‘what matters to someone’ is not just ‘what’s the matter with someone’.”

‘What matters to someone’ is the basis of our service. Medication should fit seamlessly into someone’s life, so they find it easier to stick to their regime. For that reason, our pouches are easy to transport and can be taken out for the day, or taken to work. We give people an extra medication option- not to have to spend hours sorting their medication.

5. Facilitating self-care

“1.38. As part of wider move to what The King’s Fund has called ‘shared responsibility for health’, over the next five years the NHS will ramp up support for people to manage their own health [17].”

Health awareness plays a huge part in how healthy we are as a nation. Public Health Campaigns emphasise how important it is to look after ourselves. PillTime helps people to do this. Our pre-sorted medication pouches allow people to manage their own health. With better control over their doses, people can stay on track with their treatment. Staff in Salford Royal Hospital have noted that pouches help raise awareness of adherence, as it’s clear when something has been missed.

6. Digital care

“1.43. Digital technology will provide convenient ways for patients to access advice and care.”

PillTime embraces electronic prescriptions to allow convenient medication delivery. In partnership with Healthera, patients can order their prescription digitally. As such, patients benefit from free delivery and dose sorting. Convenience medication means people are more likely to be adherent.

Click here to read the online version of the NHS Long Term Plan.