A homecare medicine delivery service can be described as being a service that delivers on-going medicine supplies and where necessary, associated care, initiated by the hospital prescriber, direct to the patient’s home with their consent. The purpose of the homecare medicines service is to improve patient care and choice of their clinical treatment.

Homecare services are provided to over 200,000 patients in the UK representing £1.5 billion of the £4 billion spent on hospital medicines. The sector has grown rapidly and continues to develop and expand to meet patient demands and NHS cost containment targets.

Types of Homecare Medicines Services

Homecare medicines services can be categorised in a number of ways:

Funding Routes

Funding for a homecare medicines service can ultimately fall to two entities, the NHS or a product manufacturer (Pharma).

Pharma Funded Homecare Medicines Services

What are Pharma Funded Homecare Services?

Pharma funded homecare services (also known as pharma schemes) are homecare medicines services for which one or more homecare providers are commissioned by a manufacturer of a drug (pharma company) to provide a homecare service to NHS or private patients.For the majority of pharma funded homecare services, the NHS is liable only for the cost of the drug / product with the service costs funded by the pharma company.

NHS Funded Homecare Medicines Services

NHS funded homecare services are simply those which the NHS procures from the open homecare services market whereby both product and service costs are payable by the local trust or commissioner. Services are procured at national, regional and local level. The Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU) is responsible for national procurement of homecare services. Regional procurement hubs or lead trusts procure on behalf of multiple NHS trusts within a geographical region. Bespoke local contracting occurs where there is a specific and unique requirement for a particular trust not covered by national or regional framework agreements.