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Evaluating the national Medicines ​Optimisation in Care Homes programme


The national Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes (MOCH) programme (2019-21) supported 336 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to improve their expertise in undertaking medication and system reviews in care homes. 

In January 2020, MLCSU was commissioned by NHSEI to design the evaluation and then evaluate the national programme’s impact on medicines optimisation and the improvements in quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness.


MLCSU delivered the evaluation through four main methods: 

  • produced an online survey that 107 (32%) MOCH pharmacy staff completed between March and August 2020
  • held qualitative interviews with 15 MOCH pharmacy staff, five GPs and two advanced practitioners, nine STP/ICS MOCH pharmacists and 9 care home staff between November 2020 and January 2021
  • captured feedback from 190 residents and their carers from a Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ) for MOCH services 
  • analysed the national MOCH Waste Audit.

Outcome and Findings

Our final report presented to the Pharmacy Integration Advisory Group in March 2021 can be viewed on the FutureNHS platform: 

Our evaluation found that benefits of residents receiving structured medication reviews were:

  • reduced doses
  • stopping of unnecessary medicines
  • reduced use of medicines that cause drowsiness (lowering risk of falls and increasing alertness)
  • improved patient and carer understanding of the purpose of the medicines 

The evaluation also found that MOCH pharmacy staff supported care homes to improve their medicines ordering systems, which produced benefits of increasing care home staff control over the process, saving time and reducing unnecessary waste. 

The MOCH medicines waste quality improvement project produced a reduction in avoidable waste of £152,000. 

Patient satisfaction scores for MOCH services ranged from fair to outstanding with the most common score as excellent.

The evaluation also discovered there was considerable variation in networks and collaborations, and in MOCH team response to covid.

It has been great working in partnership with MLCSU Medicines Optimisation and Communication and Engagement Teams to undertake the Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF) Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes (MOCH) Evaluation in 2021. Despite pressures of COVID-19 we got some really interesting feedback from MOCH pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, Care Home managers and GP Practice teams that show the benefits of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in care homes and supporting Primary Care Networks and GP practices.

MLCSU worked efficiently and effectively to deliver the evaluation and final report, the summary of which was presented to the Pharmacy Integration Advisory Group in March 2021.”

Dr W Baqir
Pharmacy Integration Programme,
NHS England and NHS Improvement