How useful are medicines helplines for patients discharged from hospital?

Abstract

Aim

To determine the number of patient helplines provided by UK medicines information and the volume of enquiries handled per year. To review patient helpline enquiries at a single medicines Information centre and to describe the demographics of service users and determine the types of questions asked.

Methods

All UK medicines information centres were surveyed. Enquiries to a single medicines information centre in 2009 were analysed with a follow-up review in 2011 to see if amendments to the discharge letter affected the types of calls received.

Results

Patient helplines are provided by 102 (55%) out of 184 UK medicines information centres. They answer up to 23,000 enquiries annually. The patient helpline at a single medicines information centre received 312 calls in one year involving 413 questions. Most commonly enquiries involved patients aged over 65 years and patients’ carers made 30 per cent of the calls. The most common reason for ing the helpline was a lack of appropriate information in the discharge letter (24%; n=98) which decreased to 7% (n=32/475) after amendments were made to the discharge letter two years later. Many patients asked about drug interactions (n=47, 11%) or reported and sought advice for, an adverse drug event (n=43, 10%).

Conclusion

More than half of medicines Information centres provide patient helplines in the UK and answer thousands of patients’ questions about medicines each year. Patient helplines support medicines optimisation by ensuring patients have easy access to pharmacy experts to discuss concerns about their medicines and improve the quality of their pharmaceutical care.

Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11135512

Readers' comments (1)

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 1 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £133.00
  • BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 2 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £252.00
  • International Research in Healthcare

    Guidance for students or researchers undertaking a multi-centre research project in health services, medicines use and professional practice.

    £38.00
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00
  • Injectable Drugs Guide

    A user friendly, single point of reference for healthcare professionals in the safe and effective administration of injectable medicines.

    £54.00

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete

Supplementary information

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.

steroid-pharm.com/test-e-300.html

steroid-pharm.com

www.pills-generic.com/potenzmittel/cialis-20mg