Medicine optimisation service at Gateshead Health rated ‘Good’ by CQC

Gateshead Health’s Medicine Optimisation service has received a “Good” rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). On 27 and 28 September, the CQC visited the Trust as part of a pilot to rate the medicines optimisation (pharmacy) service at Gateshead Health.

Medicine optimisation service
Medicine optimisation service. Picture features Thomas Hindmarch, pharmacist; Kevin McElwee, pre-registration pharmacy technician, Emma Hall, medicines safety pharmacy technician, Hannah Richardson, surgical matron; Caroline Lane, surgical matron; Lynsey Curry, lead clinical pharmacist for surgery; Racheal Parkin, pharmacy technician, Mark Thomas, Chief Pharmacist; Taylor Sutton, specialist oncology and aseptic pharmacist; Polly Canmer, medicines safety officer; Vanessa Echanique, deputy chief pharmacist; Laura Coleman, medical matron. 

As part of the inspection, they review five different areas. The CQC rates the trust as outstanding in the effective and responsive categories, good in the well-led and caring categories and requires improvement in the safe category.

A number of good and outstanding practice were noted, including:

  • The staff treated patients with compassion and kindness and took account of their individual medicines needs.
  • Innovative pharmacy roles were well-established across the organisation.
  • Colleagues worked well together and staff provided quality care
  • An excellent medicines safety culture within the Trust, with a genuine commitment to learning and quality improvements
  • Leaders ran services well using reliable data and performance measures to improve patient care.
  • Pharmacy’s clinical and supply services were accessible seven days a week.
  • Patients were consulted regularly, and service improvements were made.

There were also some areas of improvement highlighted, including:

  • Expansion of the Electronic prescribing system to Accident and Emergency and Critical Care
  • Oxygen was not always recorded as being prescribed on the electronic prescribing system, although it had been recorded as administered on a separate electronic system.

Mark Thomas, Chief Pharmacist at Gateshead Health said: “This is the first focussed inspection of the Medicines Optimisation service and I am pleased that the CQC rated this service overall, as good, with outstanding ratings for both effective and responsive.  

“The inspection report highlights some areas for improvement, and we already have plans in place to address the issues that have been identified. We have an excellent medicines safety culture, and a clear dedication to continuing to make quality improvements.”

“The inspection team saw how staff throughout the Trust treat patients with compassion and kindness.  Patients are cared for as individuals, with a clear focus on providing a safe, effective, and patient-centred medicines optimisation service.”

The full report is available to download below.

Gateshead Health medicines optimisation report from CQC (265kB pdf)