A new medication dispensing tool to support the needs of vulnerable adults in the community is to be piloted by nurses in the West Midlands.
The North Staffordshire pilot forms part of a wider initiative across the West Midlands, organised by the West Midlands joint improvement partnership, which will see the technology trialled in eight different health and social care organisations.
The automatic pill dispenser – a battery operated device with a built in alarm which reminds patients when to take their medication - will be trialled by community matrons at NHS North Staffordshire from next month.
Around 20 patients will take part in the six month trial, including older people living at home or in residential care, and those with long term conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and early dementia.
The aim of the automatic pill dispenser is to improve medication adherence, and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions, by supporting people to take control of their medication needs.
Nurses at Cheadle community hospital will also train suitable patients in how to use the device to help facilitate earlier discharge from hospital.
North Staffordshire Community Healthcare associate director of operations Derek Pannent, who is co-ordinating the pilot, said the tool could be of real benefit to patients and carers and help manage long term conditions outside acute care.
“As well as avoiding costly admissions to A&E, it could be used by ward staff to improve patient safety in the step down process from acute to community care, covering both ends of the spectrum,” he said.