Medicines Optimisation in Special Schools

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust


Within the collaborative commissioning structure between the NHS and Local Authorities for special schools, there has never been a formal pathway to promote or support the need for a pharmacy led medicines optimisation service in special schools. Hence, huge variations exist nationally on how this model is being delivered. Community health services play a key role in the future of health and care systems. This project will not only meet HEE business priorities but also the NHS long term plan through service transformation and redesign in the following areas:

Pharmacy workforce development

Advanced Practice

Mental Health

Learning disabilities and Autism

Project Aim

The primary aim of this project will be to promote:


Increased patient safety in schools through the development of a bespoke medicines optimisation service that allows for the:


Improvements to upskill unregistered teaching workforce in medicines administration


Reduction in Errors – e.g. omitted doses through medicines reconciliation provision


Standardisation, consistency and equality of health provision across more special schools in Kent through recruitment of an additional Pharmacy Technician to complement the new service


Development and transformational leadership opportunities for Pharmacy technicians expanding on their traditional roles through working in a relatively untapped sector i.e. special schools promoting medicines optimisation.

Project Objectives

The key medicines optimisation objectives of a specialist pharmacy service within special schools will:

Support safe and effective management of medicines to children in school

Support seamless transfer to adopting the new medicines management training, governance, audit and overall quality improvement package

Introduce an incident reporting and learning culture

Promote access to the medicines information service

Promote self-care to support the implementation of the March 2018 NHS England guidance to CCGs which prohibits routine prescribing for OTC medicines

Increase awareness and understanding of the recent protocols for emergency use of salbutamol inhalers with appropriate spacer devices, and adrenaline auto-injector devices.


There are differences between how individual special schools manage medicines and interpret policy guidance and discrepancies exist between the views of each stakeholder group. A specialist pharmacy service provision would support special schools in achieving the commissioned contract requirements through the implementation and promotion of fundamental medicines optimisation principles. The outputs from this project is expected to:

Support the safe and effective use of medicines

Improve patient safety in schools through access to a specialist medicines optimisation service

Promote equity and equality in access to healthcare provisions within special schools for all children and young people with long term conditions.

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Project Team




Dr. Ruth Brown

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

Accountable Officer

Nirusha Govender

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

Project Lead