Prescribing for people with learning disabilities must change

Sandra Gidley 3by Sandra Gidley, Chair, English Pharmacy Board

Early last week three separate reports from the Care Quality Commission, Public Health England and NHS Improving Quality were released and painted a poor and depressing picture of the level of prescribing of antipsychotics and antidepressants in those with learning disabilities.

Following the release of the reports, I co-signed, on behalf of the RPS English Pharmacy Board, a letter from NHS England stating that the scale of the problem was unacceptable and that an emergency summit was being arranged to agree how to tackle the problem. The letter was also signed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Nursing. Read more Prescribing for people with learning disabilities must change

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

The earlier, the better

Gill Hawksworth webby  Gill Hawksworth MBE, FRPharmsS and RPS Faculty Fellow

Patients sometimes end up in A&E or being admitted to hospital because they have soldiered on with a health problem rather than getting advice from a health professional.

Some patients almost need permission to ask for help. In particular, older people, often some of our most conscientious users of the NHS, can be reluctant to ‘bother the doctor’. Community pharmacists are ideal health advisors as we are approachable, easily accessible and spend a lot of time advising and treating people with common health complaints before they get worse and escalate to the point where they need more serious treatment. Read more The earlier, the better