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Create specialist IBD roles

By News team

A call has been made for the creation of consultant pharmacist posts in adult inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) services in England after a UK survey revealed that none exists.

Less than a quarter (24 per cent) of the acute trusts and health boards that responded to the survey have at least one pharmacist independent prescriber working as part of their IBD team.

The survey of pharmacy involvement in IBD services, carried out by the United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association’s gastroenterology and hepatology interest group, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the University of Brighton, also found that 20 per cent have a part-time pharmacist employed in the specialist team.

The preliminary data come at the same time that results from the third round of the UK IBD audit, which looked at the organisation and structure of services, were released.

The UK audit was based on the seven national IBD standards and included data for more than 90 per cent of acute trusts and health boards. It found that less than 50 per cent of sites questioned have a named pharmacist with an interest in IBD. Only 12 per cent have a pharmacist at their IBD meetings and 10 per cent said that a pharmacist takes part in immunosuppressant and outpatient clinics, the findings revealed.

However, 90 per cent of respondents confirmed that inpatient drug reviews are carried out by a pharmacist; 74 per cent have a pharmacist involved in high-cost drug application decisions; and 33 per cent said a pharmacist accompanies a consultant on ward rounds.

Commenting on the two surveys, chairman of the UKCPA gastroenterology and hepatology interest group Anja St Clair Jones said: “Pharmacists need to continue to increase their presence within the IBD team and attendance at the IBD team meetings. The audit highlights the need to strengthen current provision of pharmacy services to IBD patients in the UK.”

She said: “There is also a need to establish consultant posts in England to champion and support the implementation and maintenance of the IBD standards and guarantee equality of pharmacy IBD services throughout the country.” Ms St Clair Jones is also the RPS’s representative on the UK IBD audit steering group.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11077362

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