Managing medicines: Reconciliation, PODs, and homecare

Last updated: Sunday, July 11, 2021

Medicines reconciliation

This is the process of identifying an accurate list of a patient’s current medicines and comparing them with the current list in use, recognising and resolving any discrepancies, and documenting any changes. This is usually done on admission to hospital by a pharmacist or technician. This results in a complete list of all medicines, accurately communicated.

Have a look at this short video from NHS Employers which highlights the importance of medicines reconciliation to primary and secondary care, and the role of hospital pharmacy.


You may hear some medicines referred to as PODs. These are a Patient’s Own Drugs – in other words the medicines that the patient brought in to hospital or which belong to the patient. In many Trusts, PODs are managed by a team of pharmacy technicians.


A homecare service can deliver medicines and associated care, initiated by a hospital prescriber, directly to a patient at home. There are a number of different companies that can undertake this work. They may take on complex situations such as injections that need to be given by a healthcare professional, or more straightforward areas such as supplying oral medicines that a patient can administer themselves.

Homecare can enable selected patients to enjoy all the benefits of living in their own home, whilst still receiving the medicines and care that they need.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published Professional Standards and a Homecare Handbook. These are detailed publications, but you might like to browse them to understand a little more about the types of service available and the safeguards that are needed.

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