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Wiltshire diabetes pilot commissioned following success of Devon scheme

Pharmacists in Wiltshire are set to pilot a diabetes support service after the council agreed funding of £5,000 to trial the scheme. The funding follows the success of a pilot scheme in Devon last year (2013, see Panel), which improved adherence in some patients who were not using their medicines correctly.

Fiona Castle, chief executive officer of Swindon and Wiltshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee, told PJ Online that the excellent information recorded and communicated by Devon LPC had enabled the service to be commissioned in Wiltshire.

“In Wiltshire we will be using the materials prepared by Devon LPC and its partners to support the education of pharmacists and the patient consultation,” she explained.

She added that the LPC will not be able to collect detailed information around improvements in adherence since it has not sought permission to use the assessment tool. However, it hopes to replicate patient engagement and to build confidence in pharmacy delivery of such interventions in the care pathway.

Mrs Castle expects training for the pharmacists involved to begin at the end of next month (February), and the pilot will start as soon as possible after that. She hopes to evaluate the scheme in June 2014. Participating pharmacies will be those that are already delivering on the core contract, she added.

Devon LPC project pharmacist Mark Stone welcomed extension of the service to Wiltshire, telling PJ Online: “The main thing I want to see now is pharmacy building the evidence base for pharmacists supporting adherence in patients with diabetes. This is necessary when NHS England’s ‘Action for diabetes [published last week] mentions that community pharmacy can have a role in supporting patients. The time to influence is now.”

Mrs Castle added: “Everyone in the NHS is very good at talking about innovation. I am not an innovator, but believe that we have a lot to learn about rolling out the success of those who are.”

The Devon pilot

The Devon pilot ran in 12 healthy living pharmacies in Plymouth during July and August 2013, and included a face-to-face consultation with the pharmacist to assess how patients were using their medicines and make recommendations to help improve adherence, followed by a telephone consultation two to three weeks later to reassess adherence and provide further advice if needed.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11132815

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