From 1 January 2023 on-site pharmacists and community pharmacy services to improve medication in government-funded residential aged care facilities (RACFs).
The announcement was made last March and involved $345.7 million funding from the Federal government
“Improving medication management for senior Australians living in aged care is part of the Government’s generational reform of the sector,” then Minister Hunt said.
“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.”
Under the measure, every government funded residential aged care facility will be able to employ or engage an on-site pharmacist or community pharmacy services.
While the government is yet to finalise the model of how they are employed, the challenges ahead are clear: workforce availability, communication with the team, and training.
More in depth consideration around this can be found in this fantastic article by ELDAC written by Dr Paul Tait, Project Pharmacist Palliative Care and Cancer Services, Rural Support Service.
Feedback on the planned introduction of on-site pharmacists in residential aged care homes closes on the 16th of September.
Find out more at Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care ‘Aged Care on-site pharmacists’.