An innovative West Hampshire CCG medicines project which aims to improve the lives of patients with long-term conditions – particularly frail elderly patients – has been shortlisted for a major national award.
Medication for over 2,000 patients across seven GP practices was reviewed during the first seven months of the trial, with around a quarter of them either changing their prescription or stopping a medicine that was no longer working properly.
The scheme is now a finalist in the ‘primary care redesign’ category of the prestigious Health Service Journal Awards. Winners will be announced at an award ceremony in London in November.
Neil Hardy, a senior pharmacist from West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “This project demonstrates that by working together pharmacy teams in the community, hospital and GP surgeries can improve patients’ use of medicines.
“By having more support at a surgery level enables GPs can use the skills and expertise of a pharmacist to support patients on complex medicine regimes.”
The trial saw pharmacists and pharmacy technicians based in seven New Forest GP practices to:
- Work with doctors and surgery to staff to improve the safety and quality of patient medicines
- See patients in care homes or in their own homes
- Support GPs with their workload and help reduce prescribing costs
- Create an integrated ‘one-team’ approach for patients by working with pharmacists at both Lymington New Forest Hospital and local community pharmacists.
Communication is now improved between the hospital, the GP practices and the community pharmacists, which has created a streamlined experience for patients, saved money and reduced the amount of medicines waste.
Feedback from the scheme has been positive from GPs, community geriatricians, community pharmacists and most importantly patients.
A patient from New Milton Health Centre said: “'I had my first appointment with the practice pharmacist. She was professional and very helpful.”
Another from Barton Surgery said: “As a carer without transport the home visit provided a means of consultation with minimum effort and disruption for the patient.
They added: “I was able to ask questions, received a valued response and was made to feel that, as a carer, I could be involved. I think it is an excellent service.”
The project is due to be rolled out to four GP practices from Fordingbridge and Ringwood as part of a plan to roll it out across the West Hampshire CCG area.