The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is launching a new campaign to improve the care of people with long term conditions through the better use of pharmacists.
An average 1 in 3 people across Great Britain have at least one long term condition. Caring for them accounts for around 50% of GP appointments and approximately 70% of the health and social care budget across the country.
As the third largest health profession in the UK, the RPS argues that the skills and expertise of pharmacists must be maximised within the multidisciplinary team to provide the best care for patients. And that without changing the model of care, the NHS risks being unable to meet the unprecedented increase in demand for its services.
The RPS has published policy documents that focus on how the role of the pharmacist can be enhanced to prevent, identify, treat and support people with long term conditions, as part of a multidisciplinary approach.
The RPS is making four key calls to action:
- Pharmacists providing direct patient care should have the opportunity to train to become a prescriber, fully utilising those skills as part of the multidisciplinary approach to managing and supporting people with long term conditions. To enable this change we are asking for the law to change to allow practising prescribing pharmacists to mentor pharmacists who want to become prescribers.
- The patient journey will be made easier by enabling pharmacists to directly refer to appropriate health and social care professionals, improving patient access to care and reducing the number of unnecessary appointments.
- Patients will benefit from further integration of pharmacists into their multidisciplinary team, ensuring support at every stage of their journey, from prevention through to treatment and management of their long term condition(s).
- All pharmacists directly involved in patient care should have full read and write access to the patient health record, with patient consent, in the interest of high quality, safe and effective patient care.
Further details can be found on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website.