Northern Health and Social Care Trust | SIMPATHY project


The Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT), based in Northern Ireland (UK), provides Health and Social Care Services to a population of 450,000 people. Care is delivered via two acute hospitals, 2 sub‐acute hospitals, a psychiatric hospital and a range of managed care facilities. The Trust employs around 11,500 staff and operates with an annual budget in excess of £600 million (pounds sterling). The Pharmacy Department within the Trust provides a full range of pharmaceutical care and clinical pharmacy services on behalf of the Trust and employs some 225 staff. In 2010, the Trust opened the Pharmacy and Medicines Management Centre which leads research in the areas of Medicine Management and Healthcare Acquired Infections (HCAIs). The Integrated Medicines Management Programme was initially conducted as a randomised controlled trial, during which patients meeting the defined eligibility criteria were randomised to receive an enhanced clinical pharmacy service (provided by pharmacists and technicians) or to receive normal care. The study indicated that those in the intervention group had improved medication appropriateness, had reduced length of stay in hospital, and had faster discharge from hospital and a reduced readmission rate. This model of care has now been adopted throughout Northern Ireland and is also used in hospitals in England, Sweden, the Netherlands and the South of Ireland.