Mental Health Awareness Week 2012

By Dave Branford, Chief Mental Health Pharmacist

Mental Awareness Health Week starts today (21-28 May). The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week (run by the Mental Health Foundation) is altruism – Doing Good Does You Good. The week will focus on how by helping others you can help yourself, including random acts of kindness, volunteering and peer support

So how altruistic am I? Do I go that extra mile for people with mental health problems? I probably do because it is part of being a pharmacist; part of being a healthcare professional.  Somehow it is different when it is a patient. I am quite happy to close the door and turn off the computer when it is just dealing with never ending paperwork but when it is a person – that’s different. Altruism –going the extra mile is in the blood of pharmacy.

But what about mental health? It’s easy for me, you might say, because it’s my job. On a day to day basis I am interacting with some of the most mentally unwell people you can imagine.  Medicines play a huge part in both making and keeping them well.  Most of my career has been in mental health. What about the rest of the profession! Read more Mental Health Awareness Week 2012

Prescribing – Why every GP practice needs a pharmacist

By Neal Patel, Head of Corporate Communications

The General medical Council’s new report on prescribing published today, “Investigating the prevalence and causes of prescribing errors in general practice”, shows that while the vast majority of prescribing by GP’s  is safe and effective, around 1 in 20 prescriptions contain an error. The report makes recommendations of ways in which safety and quality of prescribing could be further improved.

The GMC have said that patients and doctors could also benefit from greater involvement ofrom pharmacists in supporting prescribing and monitoring. We would go further and have   a pharmacist working in the practice with GPs, dedicated to patient safety.

GP’s, like pharmacists, are busy people, the demands of modern healthcare provision mean that it’s almost impossible for any one person be on top of all current thinking around illness, treatment and prevention.

Collaboration is key, but often this can be difficult due to poor communication systems and IT. Read more Prescribing – Why every GP practice needs a pharmacist