Transfer of Care Around Medicines (TCAM)

A new project called Transfer of Care around Medicines (TCAM) involves the e-referral of patients to their local community pharmacy on discharge from hospital for continuing support to take their medicines as prescribed. The project is soon to go live in some areas across the West Midlands.

What TCAM does:
  • When patients in hospital are identified as needing extra support with their medicines by hospital pharmacy staff, they are referred on discharge through a safe and secure digital platform to their community pharmacist.
  • The community pharmacy may then ensure that the patient's next prescription is accurate and the patient knows how to take their medicines.
  • The aim of the project is to link Acute Trusts with Community Pharmacies across the West Midlands.
Why is TCAM important?
  • The transfer of care process is associated with an increased risk of adverse events.
  • 30-70% of patients experience unintentional changes to their treatment or an error is made because of a miscommunication.
  • Around 60% of patients have three or more changes to their medicines during a hospital stay.
  • Only 10% of elderly patients will be discharged on the same medication they were on previously.
  • 20% of patients have been reported to experience adverse events within 3 weeks of discharge, 60% of which could have been ameliorated or avoided.
  • Around 5-10% of hospital admissions are medicines related, of which 2/3rds are preventable.
Impact of TCAM:
  • Research has shown that patients who see their community pharmacist after they've been in hospital are less likely to be readmitted, and if they are, will have a shorter length of stay.
What is happening in the West Midlands?
Community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy colleagues in the Black Country and West Birmingham STP have been working together with West Midlands AHSN to try and improve care for recently discharged patients where it is thought there would be potential benefit of a further intervention. Medicines Support (Hospital to Home) will be a new service which aims to ensure patients receive appropriate support from their community pharmacist soon after leaving hospital by using PharmOutcomes to pass messages securely to and from the hospital and community pharmacy.
Hospital pharmacists will use PharmOutcomes to refer patients nearing discharge to the patients chosen local community pharmacy. Patient information will be sent electronically to the community pharmacy. A member of the community pharmacy team will then contact the patient (ideally within 3 days) to arrange for them to come in for a consultation.

For further information and an update of TCAM in your area, please contact:
Dr Emma Suggett
Medicines Optimisation Lead WMAHSN