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Why we think the Government needs to go further to address the failures in Homecare Medicine Services

We know that many of you have struggled with Homecare Medicine Services. From delayed and cancelled medicine deliveries, to medicines that arrive without a nurse, or hours spent on the phone trying to get an answer. These are just some of the issues that you have told us about.

At the end of last year we welcomed the recommendations from the House of Lords Public Services Committee’s inquiry into Homecare Medicine Services, which acknowledged your experiences and called for greater accountability, regulation and transparency across services, to ensure your safety.  

The Government has responded to these recommendations and outlined the steps it would take to address the failures in homecare medicine services.  

The good news is that the Government has agreed that a senior official within NHS England will take on the responsibility for homecare medicine services. It has also committed to publishing the data we need to understand how homecare medicine services are performing. These are two key recommendations that we have been calling for that will improve the accountability and transparency of these services.  

However, the Government have refused to take forward the Committee’s main recommendation: a full-scale independent review into homecare medicine services. We believe this is a missed opportunity not only to address the systemic failures in the system but to redesign services to make them fit for a future.   

But most importantly, we are disappointed that the Government has not acknowledged the harm and distress that homecare services have caused some of you. Throughout our year-long campaign on this issue, the levels of despair, frustration and helplessness amongst patients and clinicians has become plain. The role of homecare medicines services is to make life easier, not harder for those who are reliant upon them, and the Lord’s inquiry has shown that is currently not the case.  

Sarah Sleet, CEO of Crohn’s & Colitis UK had this to say: 

The government's response to the Lords' report is an encouraging step forward in our pursuit for safer and more reliable homecare medicines services. We are pleased to see the government's acknowledgement for greater accountability and transparency within the system. However, we know that members of the Crohn's and Colitis community have suffered as a result of the failures in homecare services. This response still leaves us in the dark about how often harm has been caused and how serious the repercussions of those failures have been. These uncertainties must be addressed if we are to have a fully accountable and transparent system in future.

Sarah Sleet, CEO of Crohn's & Colitis UK 

Next Steps  

In coalition with eight other patient and professional organisations, we have written a joint statement on the Government’s response to the inquiry.  

We will continue to work with NHS England and the Government to ensure that your experience informs their next steps in reforming homecare medicine services.   

If you would like to help us by sharing your experience with Homecare Medicine Services please contact policy@crohnsandcolitis.org.uk 


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