The safety and quality of the management of medicines when people with dementia move between the care home and hospital setting - PhD study



To improve the safety, quality and continuity of the management of medicines when people living with dementia move between the care home and hospital setting.


The methods proposed currently, include: identification and synthesis of the evidence-base; observation of current practice and systems; interviews with the people involved (e.g. residents/carers/healthcare professionals/care home staff); analysis of relevant documentation to understand what/how/why/when information is communicated. The results of this study, together with the findings of previous research, will be used develop potential interventions to improve care.


There is a high prevalence of medication errors in this setting with seven out of ten care home residents experiencing one medication error per day (Alldred et al 2009). Care home residents with dementia often transition from the care home to hospital and back and there is a high prevalence of medication errors during and following these transitions, a risk increased by their lack of capacity (Alldred et al 2009). Such errors can lead to negativeoutcomes including adverse drug events, lack of benefit from medicines, hospital (re)admissions, falls and reduced quality-of-life.

Medicines optimisation should lead to improved outcomes for people with dementia such as improvements in cognitive and physical functioning, enhanced quality-of-life, improvements in symptoms, reduced medication errors and adverse drug events, the avoidance of unnecessary transitions and the facilitation of effective transitions. Key to this is effective medicines reconciliation.

Recently published NICE guidance on managing medicines in care homes recommends that care home managers should coordinate reconciliation and this should be documented in the home’s medicines policy; however, there is a lack of evidence as to how this should be done and who should be involved.


Suzanne Hill

Professor Alison Blenkinsopp

Dr Sarah Smith

Dr David Alldred

Funding body

Alzheimer’s Society Doctoral Training Centre at the School of Health, University of Bradford

Contact: Dr David Alldred