Posted by: Audrey Thompson18 JUL 2014
The Glasgow 2014 Polyclinic has up to 60 people working as volunteers on every shift. As well as pharmacists there are GPs, nurses, sports and exercise doctors, emergency medicine doctors, physiotherapists, optometrists and ophthalmologists, dentists, podiatrists, radiologists and radiographers, podiatrists and sports massage practitioners. It’s a very collaborative working environment with very little hierarchy. The photograph shows the polyclinic on the right hand side with the gym and wellness/recovery centre in the middle. The path leading up towards the accommodation blocks is an avenue of flags headed by Scotland’s saltire.
One of the GPs who worked in Weymouth at the Olympics was trained by the pharmacists there on the best way of making prescribing decisions when there is a very limited formulary. She sees the patient, makes her diagnosis and comes over to us to discuss treatment options. Discussions such as “what kind of something–profen gel do you have?” or maybe “I need a something-azole cream” are becoming common. That gives us a chance to discuss the options available, any differences between drugs in the same class, and then make a decision on treatment for the patient in collaboration with the prescriber.
Discussions with team doctors about prescribing decisions are also straightforward as all scripts include the doctor’s mobile phone number and, so far at least, it hasn’t been a problem to have an immediate conversation and sort out any questions we might have.
The pattern of workload is also quite interesting. We officially open at 7am, but often the pharmacists are on site earlier and on a few days there have been prescriptions dispensed well in advance of that. We have also had quite a number of prescriptions around 9pm. This is to fit with the athlete’s schedules for training, eating, recovery. An athlete may want to get treatment before they go out to a training venue for the day, or if they want to see a doctor after returning from training, they may get changed, have dinner and then come to the polyclinic.
We have now been open for 5 days and every day has been getting busier with new teams arriving. By the end of our first week 12 of our 18 volunteers will have had at least one shift, so we are building up a cohort of experienced people able to support new starts coming on board. What a team.