Aged care on-site pharmacist

In response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, we are implementing a new measure to improve medication management and safety for aged care residents. The measure provides funding for pharmacists to work in a clinical role on-site in residential aged care homes.

Aged care on-site pharmacist

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety identified medication management in residential aged care homes as an essential area for improvement.

Having a pharmacist on-site to regularly review medications will give residents and their families confidence that they are appropriate and safe.

Residential aged care homes can choose to employ or engage  pharmacists to tailor medication management to best meet the residents’ and facility’s needs. This may vary based on complexity of patient needs and the size of facilities.

Through this measure, the intended benefits for residents and the residential aged care home may include:

  • continuity in medication management, such as day-to-day review of medications and issue resolution
  • easy access to pharmacy advice for staff and residents
  • collaboration of on-site pharmacists with the health care team, including local general practitioners, nurses, and community pharmacy
  • increased understanding of individual resident needs
  • improved medication use and safety in the residential aged care home, including safe and appropriate use of high risk medications.

Under the measure, government-funded residential aged care facilities will be able to employ or engage an on-site pharmacist.

The following services are not receiving funding under this measure: 

  • medicine or medical device supply or delivery, for example from a pharmacy to the residential aged care home
  • medicine re-packaging, for example into Dose Administration Aids,

It is also not intended for pharmacies to set up in residential aged care homes.

We consulted a range of stakeholders about implementing the measure including: 

  • aged care
  • pharmacy
  • nursing and medical stakeholders
  • leading researchers of pharmacy services in aged care.

More information

What we’ve heard from consultation.

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