The Online Pharmacy Delivery Service You Need To Know About
How many hours have you spent sorting your, or your elderly parent’s medication? Have you ever thought there must be an easier way? Well now there is. PillTime is the free online pharmacy delivery service working in partnership with the NHS to bring prescriptions to the door and make managing medications easier than ever.
As we get older, medication management gets more complex. Almost 7 million people in the UK take five or more different medications daily and a quarter of people aged 85 + are prescribed at least eight.
It can be confusing to keep track of, especially for people who live on their own or have a cognitive impairment. Half regularly miss doses which can have serious health impacts.
Set up in 2016, this contactless pharmacy home delivery service is proving to be a real game changer for its growing client base (over 15,000 at last count) who say “it’s like having a friend who helps you with your pills.”
How PillTime Works
You can wave goodbye to the dosette box and be confident that your parent won’t miss a dose again. PillTime organises medication into clearly labeled, easy to open dose-specific pouches and delivers a month’s worth to the door for free.
The pill pouches are organised on a roll, in the order they need to be taken. Noting the time (for example Lunchtime, Friday) and the contents, the recipient can clearly see what they need to take and when.
PillTime uses robotic technology at its on-site dispensary in Bristol to produce and fill pouches more quickly and safely than traditional chemist trays. They use AI technology to ensure the contents of each pouch is 100% accurate. This is all done under the supervision of their experienced pharmacists, who double-check the contents before it is sent out.
This pharmacy innovation means it can easily identify any error in medication dispensing (for example, if the pill is cracked, or human error). So you get the doses you need, without any error or hassle and are less likely to make mistakes when taking the medication at home.
PillTime can also dispense items that don’t fit into a pouch, such as inhalers or creams. Delivering people their full monthly prescription without having to leave the house.
Every user gets their first monthly delivery in a blue PillTime dispenser box which they can keep to store their meds in. From month two onwards, all deliveries arrive in a recyclable box.
Why Should We Use PillTime?
At ElWell, we’re committed to bringing you useful information that can help you look after your parents as they get older. When we heard about PillTime, we could instantly see the benefit for caregivers, and were also impressed that it has the backing of everyone’s favourite TV doctor, Dr Hilary Jones.
We’ve gone through how PillTime works, but now let’s look at the benefits of using the service.
It Lets Your Parent Feel Independent (And Gives You Peace Of Mind)
If your parent is cognitively able to manage their prescriptions, then let them – it will make them feel more independent! Signing up to PillTime won’t take their independence away, it will just help them keep on top of their medication.
By the same token, it will reassure you that they’re taking the right dose at the right time. This is especially important if they sometimes skip or don’t take their medication – the pre-packaged personalised pouches are a great prompt.
Each dose pouch is easy to open. They tear from the right hand side, much like ripping a piece of paper. For people with arthritis or limited hand dexterity who struggle to get pills out of blister packs, it can make a real difference.
Pharmacy Delivery Saves You Time And Money
One of our clients has developed her own strategy for managing her dad’s medication and regularly spends an hour per week on this – so she can clearly see how PillTime would save her stress (and sanity!).
Whether you prep your parent’s medication, they do it themselves or you pay a carer to do the job, one thing is for sure – it’s a time-consuming process that doesn’t leave any room for error. PillTime was tested clinically at the Salford Royal Foundation Trust and they found their drug administration errors were halved.
And if you use a carer to help with medication management, that’s time you either may not have needed to pay for hourly domiciliary care or that the live-in carer could have spent with your parent.
Plus it’s also saving the NHS money by reducing the cost of wasted medication (over £300m a year).
“A revolutionary product that makes life easier and simpler for those on repeat prescriptions.”TV’s Dr Hilary Jones
PillTime Helps With Medication Management
50% of patients on long-term medication regularly miss doses which can have huge health implications. Having the right dose ready prepped removes a real barrier here.
If prescriptions change, you can update PillTime easily by logging into your account or simply giving them a call.
A recent study into people living with dementia has found that they are three times more likely to be hospitalised due to medication misadventure and when discharged have a significantly increased risk of taking either 30% less or 20% more of their prescribed medication.
Being faced with a blister pack or dosette box can be confusing for people with cognitive impairment – it’s hard for them to know how much they should be taking, and when.
PillTime can make this easier for people living with dementia and their carers.
How Is PillTime Free?
PillTime’s service is completely free of charge. A registered NHS pharmacy online, it’s funded like any other community pharmacy and doesn’t charge you or the NHS any extra for the pouches or delivery.
If you pay for your prescriptions then this cost remains, however there’s no additional charge for delivery to your door.
If your parent doesn’t pay for their prescriptions, you just have to let PillTime know their exemption status.
How To Set Up PillTime
It’s so easy to set up! Go to Sign Up on the PillTime website and enter the details for yourself or your loved one. All in all, it will take two minutes. At the moment, it’s just eligible for people living in England – we’ll update you when this changes.
Then if your parent’s medication changes, PillTime will automatically be updated by the GP (or you can update them yourself via the online account).
What About Emergency Prescriptions?
If your parent is prescribed something outside their regular repeat medication, then let PillTime know. They will send it to them to start straight away.
My Parent Likes Their Pharmacist For Their Expertise And Reassurance. Does PillTime Have An Alternative?
PillTime manage medication in pouches, and has a team of pharmacists at the end of the phone, ready to speak to you or your parent. If the local pharmacist is preferred, they can still see them for flu jabs and consultations, we just do the fiddly medication part!
Remembering To Take Medication
Having prescription on demand delivered to the door makes taking medication so much easier. But your parent may need some additional help in remembering to take their doses, especially if they need them at different times of the day.
Here’s some tried and tested medication management strategies to turn it into a habit.
- Place the eye-catching PillTime box or the individual dose packs somewhere your parent will see them at the time of day they need to be taken. This could be on the kitchen table at breakfast time for example.
- “Alexa, manage my medications”. The voice controlled assistant can be set up to remind your parent at key times to take their prescriptions.
- If your parent doesn’t want an Alexa, you can set up a simple alarm to go off to remind them during the day or use a pill reminder app on their smartphone or watch.
- If your parent has hourly carers, arrange for them to visit at the same time. This will either act as a trigger to your parent, or it can be built into the care plan so they oversee it.
- Make it part of their routine. In the morning, they reach for their pill pouch when they’re reading the paper. In the afternoon you can ring them to remind them and in the evening, it’s after they have eaten.
- Print out a seven-day chart with all medication listed and stick it on their fridge. They can tick it off throughout the day and easily see if any have been missed.
If your parent has multiple carers who need to keep track of their medication intake then the clearly labelled packs can also remove any confusion as to what is taken, when.
You can also request that PillTime send a MAR chart with their monthly prescriptions, so you and carers who pop in can keep a clear record.
Find PillTime at www.pilltime.co.uk.
We’re fans of anything that makes life easier for caregivers, and PillTime does just that. This prescription delivery service seamlessly brings all the necessary medication to your door, divided into easy to access pouches. I know that taking medication can cause real worry for carers (are our loved ones actually taking what they need, when they need it?) and PillTime really removes lots of the barriers here. If you sign up, let us know what you think!