The next steps for primary care services

By Paul Gimson MRPharmS, Director for Wales, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Can primary care be improved? What should be the role of local pharmacies in supporting patients with minor ailments? How could out of hours care be improved? How can Government balance meeting local needs and delivering access to healthcare of equal range and quality between the 7 Local Health Board areas?  These were the questions I was asked to address at a conference held in Cardiff today. Read more The next steps for primary care services

How can we improve transfer of medicines information?

By Heidi Wright, RPS Policy and Practice Lead

Taking a medicine is the most frequent method that patients use to improve their health. In particular, older people and those with long term conditions rely heavily on medicines as a way of managing their illnesses.  These patients, often with strict and complicated medication regimes, are some of the most vulnerable to problems with their medicines when they transfer care settings. Whether it’s from care homes to hospitals, or mental health hospitals to home, these are times when the risk of medication errors tends to increase.

In fact, research shows that around 60% of patients have 3 or more medicines changed during their hospital stay, 20% experience side-effects after having their medicines changed and almost half of all patients experience an error with their medicines after they are discharged from hospital. Read more How can we improve transfer of medicines information?