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

Place-based systems of care will only happen if we put patients at the centre, event hears

On 24 February 2016, The King’s Fund and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society held a joint event in London to discuss the role of pharmacy in caring for vulnerable groups. In his talk about the future of place-based health, Lord Victor Adebowale talked about the changes that are needed in the health service to overcome the rising demand. 

Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of the social care enterprise Turning Point

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of social care enterprise Turning Point, said that pharmacists should be showing the NHS that “pharmacy operates where people are”

“Person-centred care for vulnerable people and place-based [systems of care] are a problem for the NHS, because the NHS is process driven.” This was the view expressed by Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of social care enterprise Turning Point, at a joint Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and King’s Fund event held in London on 24 February 2016.

“We know the process, but what’s the intent?” he asked during his talk about the future of place-based care, a concept in which providers of care work together, collaborating to manage the common resources available to them, to improve health and care for the populations they serve.

“One of the things that pharmacy and organisations like Turning Point [which supports people with complex needs] could be doing is showing the NHS that pharmacy operates where people are,” explained Adebowale. “People experience pharmacy. We could be showing the system what integration, community-based health and social care is from the ground.”

Adebowale’s explained Turning Point’s Connected Care projects. A way of engaging professionals and patients in an area to understand what they have and what they haven’t got in order to design services to specifically meet the needs of the local population. These Connected Care systems have been piloted in 70 different areas. In one pilot, set up in Birmingham, the cost improvements for the city council as a result of this service design were “between £1,956 and £9,812 per person per year”.

“Why aren’t we doing this everywhere?” he asked.

Adebowale asked the attendees if they were involved in vanguard sites, where new care models are being developed to support the improvement and integration of healthcare services. A smattering of people raised their hands. Adebowale said that while he was a “fan” of the new models of care, he was curious as to the extent they were inclusive of the “unusual suspects”.

“One of my tests of real change is that it responds to the shift in need and expectations and that is rarely done by the same people getting together,” he said.

Adebowale explained his interest in the myths of innovation, for example the idea that it has to have two stages, “wrong, you roll it out and practice it at the same time,” he said. “In the NHS, the excellent gets in the way of the good enough, so people don’t get either, because we’re still working on it or we haven’t done the randomised trial.”

Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, emphasised the importance of communicating with patients and learning from those who may find it the most difficult to access healthcare services

Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, challenged Adebowale’s ideas of innovation. “One of the most innovative things we can do, is do what we already do well everywhere,” he says. “Being able to share and work collaboratively would make a massive difference and would be innovative.”

Soni also emphasised the importance of communicating with patients and learning from those who may find it the most difficult to access healthcare services. “We need to learn from patients, particularly those with learning disabilities, in order to provide better care for everyone all of the time.”

Shaun Webster, an international project worker for Change, a charity for people with learning disabilities, drew on his experiences as a patient with a learning disability to explain how some vulnerable patients feel when visiting a pharmacy to pick up their medicines. Webster described feeling “stressed”, particularly in situations when the pharmacist was too busy to explain the medication to him. His story highlighted the importance of the question: “Do you need some help with that?” and how communication is crucial, not only for sharing information, but for building trust with patients.

Robert Johnston, chair of the charity Access Matters, agreed in the value of working closely with patients and patient organisations. “If you want to raise the profile of your profession, the sooner you involve patient organisations, the better,” he said, referring to the slogan ‘nothing about us, without us!’ However, he highlighted that all patients should be considered “vulnerable”, even if they don’t fall within specific healthcare groups. “When you’re on the receiving end of healthcare, when there’s something wrong with you, you’re vulnerable.”

But identifying the importance of good communication, whether between patients and pharmacists or between pharmacists and GPs, is not enough, argued Soni. To make it happen, patients must have access to their medical information. “Let them make decisions about who they share it with, when and why – let’s move away from this perception that the information belongs to someone else.”

Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist for Boots UK, said the profession needed to be bolder. “While we need radical solutions, they come with the requirement to have a higher level of change in the profession – change how we use our wider pharmacy family and how our patients see their own health.”

The event brought together patient representatives and healthcare professionals to discuss the role of pharmacy in caring for vulnerable groups. Participants heard from Alzheimer’s UK, the RPS, patient advocacy groups, NHS England and Alistair Burt, minister of state for community and social care.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20200815

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

  • Medicines, Ethics and Practice

    Medicines, Ethics and Practice

    The Royal Pharmaceutical Society's established professional guide for pharmacists.

    £55.00Buy now
  • English Delftware Drug Jars

    English Delftware Drug Jars

    This beautiful book illustrates the art and history of the collection of English delftware drug jars in the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

    £52.00Buy now
  • British National Formulary (BNF) 74

    British National Formulary (BNF) 74

    BNF 74 (September 2017) is your essential reference book for prescribing, dispensing, and administering medicines.

    £55.00Buy now
  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 2 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £250.00Buy now
  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 1 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £130.00Buy now
  • International Research in Healthcare

    International Research in Healthcare

    Guidance for students or researchers undertaking a multi-centre research project in health services, medicines use and professional practice.

    £37.00Buy now

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

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

Supplementary images

  • Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of the social care enterprise Turning Point
  • Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

Newsletter Sign-up

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