The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published new guidance
on managing complaints and incidents in homecare services to go alongside its existing handbook and professional standards for homecare services in England.
The new guidance aims to protect patients from accidental harm by defining clear responsibilities and information sharing. It also seeks to minimise the risk of complaints and incidents being mishandled; minimise duplication of effort and ineffective use of scarce resources; and to ensure incidents are identified, investigated and reported and the root causes monitored so that learning can be shared.
The guidance, developed by a National Medicines Homecare Committee working group, addresses the fact that homecare is a shared care arrangement involving multiple organisations. As such, complaints processes need to be shared and incidents reported, reviewed and learnt from by all parties involved in order to maintain a high level of patient care.
The guidance was launched at the autumn symposium of the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists’ Procurement and Distribution Interest Group in Birmingham on 10 November 2016.
Carol McCall, an advisor and consultant in homecare governance who helped develop the guidance, responded to concerns raised at the symposium about homecare service providers over reporting adverse drug events. She said: “Rigorous reporting can be overwhelming [for drug manufacturers]. The guidance seeks to clarify the types of incidents that should be reported. Reporting needs to add value around patient safety.”
A draft of the new guidance was originally published for consultation in November 2015.