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Report launched on care home patient prescriptions over past three years

Posted: 23rd October 2023

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has published a report that gives unique insight into primary care prescribing patterns for care home patients aged 65 years and over in England from 2020/21 to 2022/23.

Key findings show the estimated number of patients who received prescriptions increased each year. The number of prescription items and associated drug cost also increased.

Based on its data, the NHSBSA estimated there was a monthly average of 301,000 care home patients aged 65 years and over that received prescriptions in 2022/23. It also received an estimated 37 million prescription items at a total cost of £361 million that year.

As might be expected, care home patients aged 65 years and over received a higher rate of prescribing than non-care home patients, including prescribing of drugs associated with a falls risk. Care home patients also received a different range of medicines to non-care home patients and were more likely to be prescribed Vitamin D and medicines for pain relief. They were less likely to be prescribed medicines associated with kidney injury compared with non-care home patients.

Almost two-thirds of care home patients aged 65 years and over who received prescriptions were female. Just over 4 in 10 were females aged 85 years and over. Monthly prescribing costs and volumes varied by age, gender, care home type and geography.

The NHSBSA would love to hear what you think of the report and how you can use the insights – please complete the short survey, to give us your views. If you have any questions or comments feel free to reach out to the Data Science team at

Read the full report