Following the government’s response to the House of Lord’s inquiry Homecare Medicines Services: An opportunity lost; nine patient charities including NASS, and clinical membership bodies have published a joint statement saying that “Significant work [still] needed to assure patients and clinicians of the future safety of homecare medicines services”.
The House of Lord’s Public Services Committee launched its inquiry into homecare medicines after 12-months of campaigning by the group highlighted worrying instances of harm to people using homecare services and high levels of disruption experienced by NHS clinicians. These experiences were validated by a series of hard-hitting media reports, including a 6-month investigation by the Guardian newspaper into Sciensus, the largest deliverer of homecare medicines services in the UK.
The organisations to sign the joint statement include patient and clinical groups from across five medical speciality areas and represent hundreds of thousands of NHS service users and staff. The group includes NASS, and is led by the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR), plus Crohn’s and Colitis UK (CCUK), National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS), British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), Cystic Fibrosis Trust (CFT), The Haemophilia Society and Versus Arthritis (VA).
Following the government’s response to the inquiry there will now be a debate in the House of the Lords and NHSE has pledged to lead the next stage of actions following a ‘desktop review’ was carried out in the autumn of 2023. NHS Scotland (NHSS) has already launched a public review of homecare services which is already underway.