HIV medication in London
Barts and the London NHS Trust aimed to cut clinic waiting times and reduce costs by delivering medication direct to 500 of its HIV patients.
Here’s why the trust chose Evolution Homecare:
Pressures of time and money
‘All healthcare trusts are under increasing pressure simultaneously to save money and improve the service offered to patients by cutting waiting times,’ says Barts’ senior HIV pharmacist Chinyere Okoli. ‘Clinical appointments can take a lot of time because, after seeing the doctor, patients have to wait for their medication. The home delivery process removes the need to wait, and is targeted at stable patients on repeat medications at 3-4 month intervals,’ says Chinyere. ‘They are always seen by the doctor, so do not receive a lesser service, but they don’t have to wait for their medication to be dispensed.'
Understanding patients’ needs
‘Our primary concerns are patient welfare and confidentiality. But any worries we may have had were quickly allayed by the tremendous sensitivity shown by the Patient Services Team and their willingness to adapt and adjust to meet our precise needs. Although they had not previously delivered HIV medicine, Evolution Homecare have vast experience of delivering medication for all manner of conditions and have a real understanding of patient care. We soon built up a great rapport with the team and they demonstrated that they understood the issues and were keen to work with us to provide exactly what we and our patients need.
‘The big worry for HIV sufferers is confidentiality,’ says Chinyere. ‘Evolution Homecare assured us that their drivers would not be aware of what medicines they were delivering, that they would be operating in unmarked vans and with unmarked product boxes.’
A guiding hand
Patients had some understandable concerns about the switch-over, but Evolution Homecare provided Patient Information Booklets and a helpline number. This helped to reassure everyone that the transition would be smooth and that the new system would be a great improvement.
Fitting in with your life
Efficiency and specific delivery times are crucial for patients trying to maintain a normal life. With Evolution Homecare, patients can contact the Patient Services Teams on the morning of the delivery to get an estimated arrival time, and don’t have to wait for hours to take delivery of their prescription.
‘The transition took little more than a month,’ says Chinyere. ‘Now, 40% of our patients are receiving the service and there is a steady and constant uptake of new patients who welcome the convenience of having their medication brought direct to their door. The service has proved so successful and popular that we are recruiting more than any other trust.’
Counting the savings
Ongoing workloads have been considerably reduced given that the Patient Services Team deal directly with the patients concerning delivery, freeing doctors to spend more time on patient care. Meanwhile, waiting times have been cut in half.