How much is polypharmacy a necessary evil?

MartinDuerden

By Dr Martin Duerden, a GP in North Wales and Clinical Senior Lecturer at Bangor University

A few years ago, I and some GP colleagues – Tony Avery from Nottingham University, and Rupert Payne from Cambridge University – were asked to do a review of polypharmacy by the King’s Fund. Polypharmacy had always been looked on disparagingly through my training in medicine and my subsequent work as a GP. It was clear from our review that this high minded perspective of polypharmacy was no longer valid.

Polypharmacy has become common place and the stark evidence is that we now have three times more people taking ten-or-more drugs than was the case in the late 1990s. The reasons for this are complex; many more people take preventative drugs for things like high blood pressure and lipid-lowering; we have a plethora of guidelines urging us to use treatments; and there are an increasing number of drugs available. Perhaps the biggest issue now and in the future is the shear number of people in middle age who are getting older and frailer and carrying many diseases into old age – the so-called ‘multimorbidity challenge’.

Read more How much is polypharmacy a necessary evil?

Could protected learning time for pharmacists be a reality?

johnathanlaird150Johnathan Laird is a community pharmacist independent prescriber with a special interest in asthma. He is based in Turriff, Aberdeenshire.

As we develop into more clinically focused areas, like independent prescribing and managing lists of patients, protected learning has to become a reality. With this in mind, I was delighted to read about the RPS in Scotland advocating the need for protected learning time in their manifestoRight Medicine – Better Health – Fitter Future. Read more Could protected learning time for pharmacists be a reality?

2015 in review: Pharmacists in GP practices

Elaine Thomson - SPB MemberBy Elaine Thomson MFRPSII MRPharmS, Locality Team Leader and Scottish Pharmacy Board Member

It’s been an interesting year. We’ve had the crisis in general practice and the review of out of hours services. We’ve had the announcement of additional funding in Scotland for pharmacists to work with GP practices. All of this against the background of evolving health and social care integration in Scotland. I’ve been working in GP practices for 15 years
so I’m watching the developments around the GP practice model, both north and south of the border, very closely. Read more 2015 in review: Pharmacists in GP practices

Why CMS is the future for community pharmacy

Johnathan-Laird-CMS

By Johnathan Laird, MRPharmS, Pharmacy Manager from Turriff, Aberdeenshire and Scottish Finalist in the I Love My Pharmacist competition. You can follow Johnathan at @JohnathanLaird.

In my view, the chronic medication service (CMS) is a necessary step towards securing a future role for pharmacists within the community pharmacy setting.

There are two sides to CMS. There is the repeat supply of medicine via serial prescriptions, and the clinical side of the service in which community pharmacists provide pharmaceutical care for the patient. Both have merit. However, neither side has reached its full potential yet. Read more Why CMS is the future for community pharmacy

Pharmacists working within GP practices should be wholly welcomed

By Sandra Gidley, RPS English Pharmacy Board Chair

The announcement by NHS England of an initiative that will see an increased number of pharmacists working within GP practice teams should be wholly welcomed by the profession as recognition of the growing importance of pharmacy within primary health care.  Read more Pharmacists working within GP practices should be wholly welcomed

How pharmacists are working in GP practice teams in Devon

RPS logoBy David Bearman, Local Professional Network (pharmacy) Chair for Devon

What is happening in your locality? 

The Local Professional Network have been considering for some time how to best participate in the changing NHS. Looking forward we appear to be moving into a very different world, one in which collaboration across a number of providers to meet the needs of the population is the order of the day. For some time community pharmacy has felt affiliated to the NHS but perhaps not central to delivery of NHS services. Read more How pharmacists are working in GP practice teams in Devon

We need more pharmacists in the general practice team

Rena AminBy Rena Amin, Joint Associate Director Medicine Management, NHS Greenwich CCG

Having a pharmacist working as part of the team in a GP practice isn’t a brand new idea – I’ve been doing it for the last ten years. I have colleagues doing the same in pockets around the country but I hope it won’t be long before it’s seen as the norm.

People might be sceptical about seeing a pharmacist in a GP surgery. Why do we need pharmacists in GP practices? What would they do? And how would they benefit the patient? Read more We need more pharmacists in the general practice team

Caring for patients at home

Nisha DesaiBy Nisha Desai, Senior  Clinical Pharmacist for Frail Elderly Services, Northumbria NHS Trust

Our ageing population presents huge challenges when managing medication. Around 36% of people over 75 take four or more prescribed medicines and up to 50% of medicines prescribed for older people are not taken as intended. The good news is that pharmacists can make a huge impact with this group of patients.

At Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, we have developed a domiciliary pharmacy service as part of the Local Integrated Network which aims to join up care programmes across health and social care systems. Read more Caring for patients at home