The provision of pharmacy services to critical care areas is well described with widespread awareness and adoption of these standards. Critical care bed numbers are defined by the ‘level of care’, with Level 2 beds (high dependency) and Level 3 beds (intensive care) classed as critical care, and normal ward care described as Level 0. This leaves Level 1 beds as largely undefined grouping when it comes to specifying acceptable pharmacy service levels.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of ‘enhanced care’ beds is receiving heightened attention due to the need to service growing surgical waiting lists, whilst building resilient surge capacity for any future local or national surges in COVID cases, or other potential pathogens that impact the wider health service (such as flu or RSV). Transformation of clinical services is expected, with the construction of new patient pathways underway.
For enhanced care to succeed, pharmacy services need to be integrated into planning cycles that are building the patient pathways.
The report published today – Pharmacy services needed for enhanced care – seeks to provide a basis for those discussions to ensure uniformity of approach.
The evidence-based report has been written by critical care pharmacy experts led by Mark Borthwick, Consultant Pharmacist Critical Care at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The report has been endorsed by the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, the Intensive Care Society, the Scottish Intensive Care Society and the Welsh Intensive Care Society.
The full report can be downloaded here.