Funding awarded to project aiming to give people in care medication independence

A project that will explore the potential of ‘smart medication’ devices has been rewarded £1.2m in funding.

NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), Lancaster University, and partners will receive the money from the Department of Health and Social Care’s Adult Social Care Technology Fund to deliver a piece of work that aims to help people manage their prescription medication schedules, symptoms, and changes.

Medication administration is a major task for care services, with social care workers increasingly delegated the responsibility of both assisting with and administering medication in domiciliary care settings (usually known as home care). Digital medication devices could lessen the need for in-person care visits.

This project will evaluate whether using a technology-enabled smart medication device (or a digital dosage monitoring system) as part of a domiciliary care package will provide an effective and time-saving solution that will benefit the person receiving prescription medication, the domiciliary care market, the NHS and local authorities.

Andrew White, chief pharmacist for the ICB, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the funding to provide this 15-month project.

“As we introduce digital medication management and it becomes more routinely used and accepted by local people and providers, we will begin to see if these devices can empower people to take full responsibility for their medication, free capacity in the domiciliary care market, and automate the process of medication delivery to ensure safety and quality of support.”

The teams involved in the project will work with people in the community who receive domiciliary care to help them manage their medication adherence independently and will provide the appropriate support to manage polypharmacy – taking multiple medications.

People will use the device for six to 12 weeks, based on how long they need to learn, and the project will ultimately support people to replace their in-person medication-only visits, with medication monitoring from a distance, with the aim of complete medication independence.

This project will be independently evaluated by the University of Lancaster to ensure we learn all lessons from the use of this technology. These learnings would help to redesign care, supported by technology that helps people, remain independent in their own homes.


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