Pfizer UK has teamed up with Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) to offer a new hospital-based service to improve medicines management and thus boost, patient safety and care.

The idea of the Ward Based Medicines Management (WBMM) programme is to secure optimum treatment and therefore the best outcomes for patients, by making sure that the right medicine is provided to the right person at the right time.

Under the initiative, which has rolled out in certain wards across Heartlands, Solihull and Good Hope hospitals, trained pharmacists consult directly patients providing guidance and counselling on prescribed discharge medicines.

As well as helping to ensure that patients are given the right medication and are properly informed about them, the scheme should also help to "streamline" the discharge process, which can be lengthy and involve numerous healthcare professionals.

Speaking to PharmaTimes World News, a spokesperson for Pfizer said both parties have committed resources to support the new WBMM project, which will run from June 2013 to April 2014. 

"Clinical aspects of the initiative will be the responsibility of The Heart of England FT and the project management, as well as some communications support, will be conducted by Pfizer".

Tania Carruthers, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust clinical director of pharmacy, said "the introduction of this innovative solution to medication management this will aid a quicker recovery period for patients who receive their medication at their bedside, as well as an improved consistency of patient care," and she also stressed that "this will also lead to improved efficiencies of service provision through reduced admissions."

Benefit for all parties

"Medicines are a cornerstone of the NHS and ensuring patients are receiving the correct medicine and advice will result in a multitude of benefits for both patients and the NHS," added Ewan McDowall, UK head of Speciality Care Business Unit, at Pfizer Ltd.

The potential benefit to the NHS and patients is clear, but what's in it for Pfizer? "This innovative joint working project offers benefits to all parties", the Pfizer spokesperson stressed to PT. But specific benefits to Pfizer include the development of a deeper insight and understanding of the NHS and improved reputation as a provider of healthcare solutions.

In addition, it provides the firm with the "opportunity to share real world experiences and understanding at senior levels between two organisations," as well as the opportunity to "demonstrate the benefits of Pfizer medicines to patients and the NHS and share best practice nationally," she noted.