Pilot programme shows benefit of pharmacy support services in care homes
People living in care homes ‘urgently need more medicines support’ from community pharmacies, says PSNC.
People living in care homes urgently need more medicines support services from community pharmacies, according to Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) head of NHS services, Alastair Buxton.
Buxton’s comments follow the release of an audit by Boots UK into a pilot programme which showed how community pharmacists can improve the management of use of antipsychotic medicines for care home residents with dementia.
The two-year programme involved pharmacists working with GPs, nurses and care home staff to review antipsychotic medication for residents with dementia. It revealed that more than a quarter (26%) of the 3,165 residents receiving antipsychotic medication who were reviewed in 463 care homes did not have any symptoms requiring regular antipsychotics1. As a result of the pilot, 20.6% of patients had their antipsychotic dose reduced and 17.3% had their medication stopped, which has “immediately improved quality of life” in many cases, according to the study authors.
The audit demonstrates how, if commissioned at a national or local level, pharmacy could play a crucial role in supporting patients to get the most from their medicines, says Asif Aziz, director of care services at Boots UK.
David Wright, professor of pharmacy practice at the University of East Anglia and one of the study authors, points out that reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs for people with dementia is a government priority. “This audit has shown that collaborative working between pharmacists, GPs, nurses and care home staff is a key way of addressing this objective,” he says.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20065569
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