Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are being asked to complete a Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) declaration of competence before providing the service.

The essential service for community pharmacies has been set up to ensure better communication of changes to a patient’s medication when they leave the hospital and reduce incidences of avoidable harm caused by medicines.

Community pharmacy can support patients to improve outcomes, prevent harm and reduce re-admissions once they have been discharged with information about medication changes made in hospital.

Even if pharmacies have not yet received referrals from hospitals, community pharmacy contractors should be ready to provide the service, ensuring relevant training to its staff along with making sure about their competence to offer the service, said the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.

As a minimum, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who will provide the service should have the knowledge about DMS within the NHS England and NHS Improvement guidance on the regulations.

Additionally, it is recommended that they also complete the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) NHS Discharge Medicines Service eLearning and assessment.

Once a pharmacist or pharmacy technician has undertaken appropriate learning related to the service, they must complete the DMS DoC and provide a copy of this to the contractor. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians should also update their CPPE learning record to confirm that they have signed their statement of declaration.

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