The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Scotland has today launched its campaign ‘Good care starts with a conversation’, highlighting the crucial role pharmacists play in ensuring people get the most out of their medicines. The campaign urges the public to #talktopharmacy if they have any questions about their medicines.
Medicines are one of the most important interventions in our NHS. They can help prevent premature death, cure illness and significantly improve quality of life. However, medicines can carry risk as well as benefits. The focus on safety and person-centred outcomes is the hallmark of any pharmacist. Good care conversations around medicines with the pharmacist are therefore crucial for better outcomes for patients.
However, recent years’ research has demonstrated that awareness of the role of the pharmacist and available pharmacy services remains low.[i]
“There is a clear need for these conversations to take place”, said Alex MacKinnon, Director at RPS in Scotland. “20% of adults take more than 5 medicines and for people over 70 this rises to 59%. In addition, up to half of all medicines prescribed are not taken as intended.“
We know that every year 61,000 emergency hospital admissions are due to medicines, equating to over 10% of all non-elective hospital admissions.[ii]
Mr MacKinnon continued: “Pharmacists must play a much larger role in our NHS to ensure better outcomes for people and prevent avoidable hospital admissions. Our campaign urges people to talk to pharmacy because the good care we all want to see across our NHS, starts with a conversation.”
The RPS in Scotland urges all pharmacists to join them in raising awareness about the positive impact of day-to-day interactions in their practice by utilising the campaign poster in their care settings to initiate the conversations and encourage the public to ask questions.
The “Good Care Starts with a Conversation” campaign consists of a central poster, which is distributed to pharmacists and pharmacies across Scotland via the Scottish Pharmacist magazine and is available to download from the campaign page.
In addition, a leaflet is forthcoming, giving the public further information and space to reflect on the questions they wish to ask about their medicines.