We must ensure patients get the best health outcomes from medicines.
That was the message from the Health Minister, Simon Hamilton as he launched (20 May) for public consultation the Northern Ireland Medicines Optimisation Quality Framework.
The Medicines Optimisation Quality Framework aims to support better health and wellbeing for all people in Northern Ireland through improvements in the appropriate, safe and effective use of medicines.
Speaking at the launch Minister Hamilton said: “Medicines play a crucial role in maintaining health, preventing illness, managing chronic conditions and curing disease. Medicines optimisation is about ensuring that the right patients get the right medicine, at the right time for the right outcome.
“Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland is changing. We are redesigning our health and care services in an integrated, balanced approach so that they better meet the needs of the individual, improve public health and social wellbeing, improve quality and safety, and ensure value and cost effectiveness within an era of financial constraints and rising demands and expectations.
“Medicines are the most common medical intervention within the Health and Social Care Service and expenditure on medicines accounts for some £550million per year. Unfortunately evidence shows that many people do not take their medicines as prescribed, either intentionally or non-intentionally. This results in poor health outcomes for individuals, wastes medicines and creates pressure on our Health Service.
“This framework proposes a new strategic approach to pharmaceutical innovation to support and drive continuous improvement through the development and implementation of best practice in medicines optimisation. It will look to opportunities presented by new models of care and new technologies that will support people to manage their own health. I would encourage everyone to play their part and respond to the consultation.”
The Medicines Optimisation Quality Framework adheres to the model of person-centred care which is central to Transforming Your Care, and is specifically aligned with the Quality 2020 strategic themes of safety, effectiveness and patient/client experience. It sets out quality standards for all health and social care practitioners and organisations to put in place, and detail what the patient can expect across all Health and Social Care settings.
The Chief Medical Officer, Dr McBride who was also speaking at the launch said: “To date many medicines management initiatives have considered the systems and processes that determine how medicines are used by the Health and Social Care Service rather than the quality of patient outcomes. Medicines optimisation is a patient-focused approach to getting the best from investment in and use of medicines requiring partnership between the patient and clinical professionals with the aim to help more patients to self manage, to take their medicines correctly, reduce harm, avoid taking unnecessary medicines, cut down on waste and improve medicines safety.”
The Medicines Optimisation Framework also incorporates innovation and continuous improvement.
Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Dr Mark Timoney, who gave a presentation at the launch said: “A new strategic approach to pharmaceutical innovation is proposed to support and drive continuous improvement through the development and implementation of best practice in medicines optimisation in Northern Ireland. The Medicines Optimisation Quality Framework sets the foundation for good practice, innovation and continuous improvement to help deliver on outcomes that will benefit our population now and for future generations.”
The Consultation will run from Wednesday 20 May 2015 until Friday 14 August 2015 and all relevant documents are available on the DHSSPS website.
Click here to access the report