Minding the Gap – Improving care for young people in Wales

by Ross Gregory, Head of External Relations, Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales

Ross Gregory, Head of External Relations, RPS Wales
Ross Gregory, Head of External Relations, RPS Wales

Minding the Gap

 

Meeting the needs of young people as they transition from child to adult services has long been a challenging issue. Pharmacists, paediatricians, psychiatrists, GPs and a whole host of other health and social care professionals are involved in these arrangements. Yet, despite the commitment and hard work of individual professionals, transition remains an area where sadly, many young people are let down by the system and where, more critically, their health and wellbeing can be compromised.

Understanding where the gaps are in the system and how they can be overcome is vitally important to provide children and young people with the safe and effective care they deserve.

 

Taking action in Wales

 

This issue is attracting attention in Wales as the Children’s Commissioner for Wales continues to push for the rights of children and Young people.

The Commissioner has recognised that pharmacists have an important role in transition arrangements, particularly for young people with multi-morbidities and complex conditions.  It was a pleasure therefore to be invited to join the Children’s Commissioner, colleagues from other royal colleges and Welsh Government officials last week to look at the issues in more detail with a view to improving the current state of play in Wales.

Read more Minding the Gap – Improving care for young people in Wales

Are parents inadvertently harming their children with paracetamol?

By Steve Tomlin, Consultant Pharmacist, paediatrics

Paracetamol is the most commonly used drug to treat children, often without the help of a healthcare professional.  There are currently 95 products available on the market. With this wide spread availability of paracetamol products, it is feasible that parents and careers could inadvertently administer more than the recommended daily dose of paracetamol to their child. A new YouGov survey recently commissioned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society shows that only a quarter of parents know which children medicines, out of those most commonly used, contain paracetamol. This means that they may unintentionally be giving their child simultaneous doses of paracetamol. The risk of accidental overdose is even higher in a busy world where a child is commonly looked after by more than one person and in different settings and carers may be unaware that a dose has already been given.

Whilst taking paracetamol at the recommended dose and frequency is safe, evidence shows that only small increases of just an extra dose a day over the course of three days can potentially cause liver damage. Read more Are parents inadvertently harming their children with paracetamol?