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Team of pharmacists and medics wins national award for care home service

Award-winning embedded pharmacist team were part of care homes operation that cut A&E attendances by 20%.

Members of the Argyle Surgery and winners of the Care Home Awards

Source: Graham Stretch

Members of The Argyle Surgery team with their award. Left to right: Saran Amin (pre-registration pharmacist), Helen Pinney (pharmacy technician), Graham Stretch (lead pharmacist), Dalal El-Khafaji (prescribing technician), Claire Gulian (clinical pharmacist)

A team of pharmacists, GPs and nurses have won a national award for a care home service that cut accident and emergency (A&E) attendances by a fifth.

The multidisciplinary team from The Argyle Surgery in Ealing, West London, won the 2015 British Medical Journal (BMJ) award for Primary Care Team of the Year at a ceremony in London on 6 May 2015.

The practice’s service is run by GPs, nurses and an embedded pharmacy team of three prescribing pharmacists, a clinical pharmacist, a pre-registration student and four pharmacy technicians. Together they care for 900 patients across 20 local nursing homes, using the mix of clinical and prescribing skills to offer joined-up care.

The service was introduced in 2013 and has since led to a 20% reduction in A&E attendances between April 2013 and April 2014.

Judges said the team had delivered “great outcomes” for patients while maintaining very high satisfaction levels.

Graham Stretch, lead pharmacist for the service and one of team members who presented the project to the judging panel, says: “I hope this award will highlight the need to improve pharmaceutical care in this traditionally under-served and vulnerable group of patients and also illustrate the benefit to patients of utilising the full pharmacy skillset in primary care to deliver improved outcomes and effective medicines optimisation.”

Stretch, whose pharmacist team works across several local GP practices and pharmacies, recently welcomed the RPS’s campaign for more pharmacists to work in GP surgeries.

English Pharmacy Board member Mahendra Patel and colleagues from the South Asian Health Foundation won the Diabetes Team of the Year award, in recognition of their community outreach work.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068534

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