Service levels are now back to normal at UK homecare giant Healthcare at Home after last year’s move to outsource its drug distribution arrangements resulted in a stream of failed and late deliveries to patients.

Chief executive Natalie Douglas told PharmaTimes Media that 97.7% deliveries are now being made on time, leaving the group in a good position to focus on its plans for future improvement.

In June last year an inspection by the General Pharmaceutical Council found that Healthcare at Home had failed to adequately manage the risk of switching from an internal distribution system to an external one, nor the stream of subsequent complaints from patients who did not receive their medication as scheduled. 

Brought in to take the reigns during this crisis with a “fresh pair of eyes”, Douglas established a business recovery task force to put in place a plan that would see normal service delivery within just 12 weeks. Since then, she says the firm has been working on a “consolidation phase” that completes at end of March - seeking to develop a foundation to establish the new “gold standard” in home care patient management. 

Making it better

“We’re taking what we’ve learnt and making it better for patients. We’re in a constant place now where we can focus on continued improvement,” she told PT. 

Ultimately, the group’s vision is to become worldwide homecare provider, developing solutions for patients around the world. Closer to home, the aim is to raise the number of patients on its book from the current market-leading 150,000 to 2 million within five years.

But, for this to happen, there must be greater collaboration with both the pharma industry and the National Health Service, with dialogue centred around the value of home care and not its cost. “There’s a lot more we can do to broker a different conversation and drive a new agenda for home care, particularly when you look at the challenges that NHS and pharma have,” Douglas said.