Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Your RPS

Highlights from the 6th Medicines Safety Conference in Wales

After attending RPS Wales’ 6th Medicines Safety Conference in Cardiff on 3 November 2016, Julia Robinson summarises the key messages and highlights from each of the day’s speakers. 

Mair Davies (left), the RPS director for Wales and Judith Vincent, chair of the All Wales Chief Pharmacists Committee

Source: Nick Treharne

The Welsh launch of the RPS policy on long-term conditions, was presented by Mair Davies, RPS director for Wales (left) and Judith Vincent, chair of the All Wales Chief Pharmacists Committee (right)

On 3 November 2016, Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Wales held its 6th medicines safety conference under the theme of “shifting care – breaking the cycle”. The conference programme featured a variety of speakers, from Don Berwick, former president emeritus and senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), to Vaughan Gething, the Welsh cabinet secretary for health, well-being and sport.

The talks focused on delivering care closer to people’s homes, away from hospital and into the community setting. The conference also saw the launch of the RPS policy on long-term conditions, which was presented by Mair Davies, director for RPS Wales and Judith Vincent, chair of the All-Wales Chief Pharmacists Committee.

The morning chair was John Palmer, director of primary, community and mental health services at Cwm Taf University Health Board, who set the theme for the day by asking everyone in the room to stand and hold hands — highlighting that healthcare sectors need to work together in order to achieve change. “The only way you get best practice to move fast is to hold hands — we’ve got to make things stick and make things stick at scale. It’s not just about Wales, it’s about how we should do it across the UK, across Europe and across the world.”

John Palmer, director of primary, community and mental health services at Cwm Taf University Health Board

Source: Nick Treharne

“The only way you get best practice to move fast is to hold hands – we’ve got to make things stick and make things stick at scale,” said morning chair John Palmer, director of primary, community and mental health services at Cwm Taf University Health Board

Don Berwick, who pre-recorded a video message for conference delegates, highlighted that the theme of shifting care and resources “could not be more apt”.

“We know what we want. We want the kind of care for all of our neighbours that we want for ourselves,” he said, adding that the IHI define this “kind of care” as being “about safe, effective, patient centred, timely, efficient and equitable care”.

Berwick explained that the IHI agenda is currently focused on the triple aim of better care, better health and lower cost. In order to achieve this, Berwick stressed that an understanding of the science that underlies the improvement of any system is required: “We need to understand how things get better…you can’t ask an existing system to do better…change is the key to improvement.”

Berwick’s message was followed by a talk by Chris Ham, chief executive of the King’s Fund, who spoke about transforming delivery of healthcare by bringing care close to home. “We need to shift where and how care is delivered, more care outside hospital, care closer to home. The overriding priority is much greater integration of care around people and around populations,” he said. Ham used fictional patient stories to demonstrate how vital joined up care is for people moving around the healthcare system. Ham explained how we need to get rid of the old view that hospitals are islands and instead look at them as “population health systems” where the hospital door is not a barrier to specialists but an opening by which they can become more integrated into the community setting. He used the example of New Zealand, where, despite the 2011 Christchurch earthquake taking out the hospital capacity, the healthcare services were still able to cope due to their work around integrated care. According to Ham, change requires a long-term commitment with reforms coming from within the NHS not outside it.

Chris Ham, chief executive of the King’s Fund

Source: Nick Treharne

Chris Ham, chief executive of the King’s Fund, spoke about transforming delivery of healthcare by bringing care close to home

With prescribing rates in Wales rising faster than in England, Robert Royce from A Regional Collaboration for Health (ARCH) in south west Wales, asked whether Wales is a drug-dependent nation. He explained that international compliance rates for long-term medication therapies are between 40% and 50%. “This represents a safety problem; a waste of resources; and a problem in terms of outcomes,” he said. “We need to be more assertive in changing clinical practice and prescribing of low effectiveness. We need to have more focus on the evidence base and the outcome utility of what we do.”

According to Royce, ARCH, which is a collaboration between two health boards and Swansea University, has three priorities: “We need to create a healthcare system for south west Wales fit for the 21st century, it needs to be sustainable and actually deliver what’s needed in healthcare; we need to skill up the next generation of health staff… and drive investment and create jobs to boost the economy in south west Wales.”

Robert Royce from A Regional Collaboration for Health (ARCH) in south west Wales

Source: Nick Treharne

Robert Royce from A Regional Collaboration for Health (ARCH) in south west Wales explained that international compliance rates for long-term medication therapies are between 40% and 50%

ARCH is comprised of four programmes of work: wellbeing; skills and education; service transformation; and research, enterprise and innovation. One of their projects is a multi-million pound Wellness and Life Science Village in Llanelli.

Berwyn Owen, clinical director for pharmacy and medicines management at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, focused his talk on models of care in north Wales. He highlighted that success is equal to performance minus expectation: “To be successful you’ve got to perform at a higher level than people expect.” He talked about ensuring the safety of the population through trust and leadership within the context of the dangers of infection, frailty and difficulties in recruitment. He gave the example of home medication review services as a model of care whereby patients are targeted in their own homes to improve co-production and reduce polypharmacy.

Berwyn Owen, clinical director for pharmacy and medicines management at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Source: Nick Treharne

Berwyn Owen, clinical director for pharmacy and medicines management at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board highlighted that success is equal to performance minus expectation

Keir Lewis, a professor of respiratory medicine at Swansea University, highlighted that Wales has the highest percentage of people in Great Britain being treated for asthma. Lewis talked about breaking the cycle of hospital admissions in relation to respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the huge role smoking cessation plays in improving the prognosis for patients with respiratory conditions. He spoke about the success of encouraging smoking cessation in the community highlighting that increased counselling has been shown to help increase the chance of an individual quitting smoking.

“Less than three minutes of any health professional’s time and your odds ratio goes up to 1.3, so 30% more people are going to quit after just three minutes of talking to someone.” The Tobacco Control Action Plan in Wales aims to drive down adult smoking prevalence to 20% in 2016 and to 16% in 2020. “Denormalising smoking is something that’s working, it’s not normal to smoke” he said.

Keir Lewis, a professor of respiratory medicine at Swansea University

Source: Nick Treharne

Wales has the highest percentage of people in Great Britain being treated for asthma, according to Keir Lewis, a professor of respiratory medicine at Swansea University

Adam Roberts, head of economics at the Health Foundation, talked about the recent report released by the Health Foundation ‘The path to sustainability’ and what the funding projections are for the NHS in Wales in the future. He explained that the three main drivers of funding pressures in the NHS are the growing ageing population, the rise of chronic conditions and issues with staff pay.

“Within the report, we made the assumption that health spending is likely to grow broadly in line with what we’re seeing in England; if that was the case, by 2020 we’d be looking at a funding gap of about £700m that would need to be closed in order to protect the range and quality of services for patients.”

He went on to explain that although there is “nothing unsustainable about the current NHS model”, in order to close the gap, ongoing efficiency savings and improvements in the services provided are needed, particularly in social care where pressures are projected to rise at a faster rate than funding.

“There are real challenges within the NHS but the social care system needs immediate attention,” he said.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20202037

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Mair Davies (left), the RPS director for Wales and Judith Vincent, chair of the All Wales Chief Pharmacists Committee
  • John Palmer, director of primary, community and mental health services at Cwm Taf University Health Board
  • Chris Ham, chief executive of the King’s Fund
  • Robert Royce from A Regional Collaboration for Health (ARCH) in south west Wales
  • Berwyn Owen, clinical director for pharmacy and medicines management at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • Keir Lewis, a professor of respiratory medicine at Swansea University
  • Close up of ingredients of skin cream that contain paraffin

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.