Significant research grant awarded to South Norfolk CCG and UEA to develop and test a new model of pharmacy practice in care homes

posted 1 Jul 2015, 05:02 by Clara Yates   [ updated 1 Jul 2015, 07:02 ]

NHS South Norfolk CCG has, via the Norfolk and Suffolk Primary and Community Care Research Office, collaborated with researchers from the universities of East Anglia, Aberdeen, Belfast (Queen’s) and Leeds and has succeeded in winning a £2 million Programme Grant from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) for a 5 year programme of research into medicines management in care homes.

A national report identified large numbers of medication errors in care homes and recommended that one individual should be responsible for medicines management. Emerging evidence indicates that pharmacist independent prescribers can practise in a safe and effective manner and so, the team of researchers applied for funding to develop a pharmacist independent prescriber model of medicines management in care homes. The funded programme aims to determine the cost-effectiveness of pharmacist independent prescribers working in care homes in an integrated manner with general practitioners and care home staff.

The proposal is for a resident’s GP to continue to manage acute problems and assume overall responsibility for individual resident care whilst the pharmacist independent prescriber will assume responsibility for medicines management primarily through the development of individualised pharmaceutical care plans and repeat prescription authorisation. The first year of the project will involve working with all stakeholders to develop the service specification.  Within year two a small feasibility study will be undertaken in each area which will then lead onto a pilot and then proceed to a randomised controlled trial.

Professors David Wright and Richard Holland from the School of Pharmacy and School of Medicine respectively at the University of East Anglia, are leading the research.

A senior spokesperson for NHS South Norfolk CCG said “This is a fantastic opportunity for the CCG, and reflects the hard work put in by the members of the Norfolk and Suffolk Primary and Community Research Office. We look forward to working closely with UEA and our other academic partners on this programme”.

Academic leads:

·         University of East Anglia: Professor David Wright and Professor Richard Holland

·         University of Aberdeen: Professor Christine Bond and Professor Phyo Myint

·         University of Belfast: Professor Carmel Hughes

·         University of Leeds: Dr David Alldred

Notes to Editors:

The research is funded by National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research (ref: RP-PG-0613-20007).


About the National Institute for Health Research

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (