The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety of Northern Ireland is seeking business innovations that improve the way medicines are prescribed.
It is to invest up to £475,000 in SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) contracts to carry out feasibility studies into two specific challenges:
- ensuring elderly people living in care homes get the maximum benefit from prescribed medicines
- ensuring pharmacists are deployed in hospitals and clinics to the maximum benefit of patients
Successful studies in both challenges could receive funding to develop their solutions further in a second phase of the competitions.
Delivering the right medication
Up to £400,000 is available for care home projects, which will be chosen based on their potential to maximise delivery of the right medication to the right patient at the right dose, at the right time and frequency and via the right route.
The department is seeking a solution that will help users, care workers and health professionals to manage complex medications at a time of growing demand from an ageing population.
Better deployment of pharmacists
Up to £75,000 is available for studies into digital solutions that use data held on hospital systems to optimise the deployment of pharmacists. Ensuring that pharmacists with the right skills are available in the right place is a challenge facing the health service.
A successful project is likely to lead to increased staff productivity and a reduction in hospital readmissions due to medication issues.
- both competitions are open and the deadline for applications to the care home challenge is 3pm on 20 June 2016 and to the pharmacist project 3pm on 13 June 2016
- the competitions are for 100% funded contracts and are open to all organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution
- contracts for home care medication projects are expected to be up to £80,000 each
- contracts for the pharmacist deployment projects are expected to be up to £25,000 each
- contracts for both challenges must be delivered in the current financial year
- applications should be made via the eTendersNI website, and all applicants must register with the site before gaining access to tender documents and background information
Once registered, search for the competitions by name ‘Automated staff deployment of pharmacy staff in a hospital setting’ and ‘Medication management for the elderly to support domiciliary care services’.