Funding to support on-site pharmacists in residential aged-care facilities
The federal government has announced $345.7m funding for on-site pharmacists and community pharmacy services in government-funded residential aged care facilities (RACFs).
While announcing the funding at the annual Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference, the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said that having a pharmacist and community pharmacy services on-site will give residents and their families confidence that medications are regularly reviewed, appropriate and needed.
“The pharmacist will also gain an in-depth understanding of medication issues across the facility and will be well placed to improve medical management and safety.
“This is especially important when we consider the overuse of antipsychotics, known as chemical restraint, and we will continue to work closely with the aged-care sector, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia in implementing these important reforms.”
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety identified medication management as an essential area for improvement.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, said, “In addition to day-to-day review of medicines, pharmacists will build relationships with residents and their healthcare team — whether it be clinical staff at the facility, the patient’s GP or the local community pharmacist.
“The on-site pharmacist will be easily accessible and available to aged-care staff and residents, building collaboration and a vital understanding of individual needs.”
Under the measure, every government-funded RACF will be able to employ or engage an on-site pharmacist or community pharmacy services.
The program will commence from 1 January 2023 with the implementation details to be finalised with the Pharmacy Guild, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the aged-care sector.
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