Medicines reconciliation in comparison with NICE guidelines across secondary care mental health organisations

Medha Kothari*, Ian Maidment, Ray Lyon, Lynn Haygarth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Medicines reconciliation-identifying and maintaining an accurate list of a patient's current medications-should be undertaken at all transitions of care and available to all patients. Objective A self-completion web survey was conducted for chief pharmacists (or equivalent) to evaluate medicines reconciliation levels in secondary care mental health organisations. Setting The survey was sent to secondary care mental health organisations in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Method The survey was launched via Bristol Online Surveys. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and qualitative data was collected through respondents free-text answers to specific questions. Main outcomes measure Investigate how medicines reconciliation is delivered, incorporate a clear description of the role of pharmacy staff and identify areas of concern. Results Forty-two (52 % response rate) surveys were completed. Thirty-seven (88.1 %) organisations have a formal policy for medicines reconciliation with defined steps. Results show that the pharmacy team (pharmacists and pharmacy technicians) are the main professionals involved in medicines reconciliation with a high rate of doctors also involved. Training procedures frequently include an induction by pharmacy for doctors whilst the pharmacy team are generally trained by another member of pharmacy. Mental health organisations estimate that nearly 80 % of medicines reconciliation is carried out within 24 h of admission. A full medicines reconciliation is not carried out on patient transfer between mental health wards; instead quicker and less exhaustive variations are implemented. 71.4 % of organisations estimate that pharmacy staff conduct daily medicine reconciliations for acute admission wards (Monday to Friday). However, only 38 % of organisations self-report to pharmacy reconciling patients' medication for other teams that admit from primary care. Conclusion Most mental health organisations appear to be complying with NICE guidance on medicines reconciliation for their acute admission wards. However, medicines reconciliation is conducted less frequently on other units that admit from primary care and rarely completed on transfer when it significantly differs to that on admission. Formal training and competency assessments on medicines reconciliation should be considered as current training varies and adherence to best practice is questionable.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
VolumeIn press
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2016

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  • Medication reconciliation
  • Mental health
  • Mental health organisations
  • Secondary care
  • United Kingdom


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