CUH NHS 75th birthday logo

Sharing information about your medicines with your community pharmacist

Patient information A-Z

What this information is about

This information leaflet is about sharing information with your community pharmacist (local chemist) about the medicines you take. The information will enable your community pharmacist or pharmacy technician to help support you with new or changed medicines following your discharge from hospital.

What is the NHS Discharge Medicines Service?

The NHS Discharge Medicines Service was set up to support the safe transfer of information between hospitals and community pharmacies.

Sharing information in this way reduces harm to patients by allowing ongoing support for taking medicines once you are discharged from hospital.

Does everyone receive this service?

Not everyone will benefit from the discharge medicines service. Patients who are likely to benefit from sharing information with community pharmacies are those who have:

  • Compliance aids to support medicine taking (for example, dosette boxes).
  • Prescribed medicines that are at higher risk of unwanted side-effects.
  • A large number of medicines (known as polypharmacy).
  • Identified support needs for medicines on discharge.

However, anyone is able to request this service.

What happens on discharge?

When you are ready to go home from hospital, your doctor will prescribe the medicines they would like you to take at home. Information on these prescribed medicines is sent to your general practitioner (GP) practice to update their records.

With the NHS Discharge Medicines Service, this information will also be sent to a community pharmacy (local chemist) that you identify as dispensing your routine medicines.

This information will also include your allergies to medicines and sometimes the clinical problem for which the medicines are prescribed. Your telephone number will be shared with the community pharmacy to allow their staff to discuss any problems with you.

You will still need to order your repeat prescriptions from your GP in your usual way.

What do I need to do?

If you agree that a copy of your discharge medicines list should be shared with your community pharmacy, the hospital pharmacist or pharmacy technician will ask you for the name of your preferred community pharmacy. This is usually the pharmacy that dispenses your routine medicines.

We will also confirm your contact details, as the community pharmacist may need to contact you after your discharge from hospital. The information will then be sent automatically to the pharmacy when your discharge letter is complete.

You are also able to approach your community pharmacy to discuss the medicines you were prescribed following your discharge from hospital.

Where can I get further information and support?

Further information and support is available from the medicines information helpline on 01223 217502 or from your local community pharmacy.

This document is based on patient information developed at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151