On the 24 February 2015, The Royal Pharmaceutical Society and National Voices held a joint event
attended by members of National Voices to explore the role of pharmacy in delivering person-centred
care to people with long-term conditions. This short report contains excerpts from the discussions.
- There was excitement about the potential for
pharmacists to offer people with long-term conditions
more information about their medicines and support to
help them manage their conditions, in particular if these
could be accessed in a more convenient way. We heard
examples of where this is happening already, both in
community pharmacies and through pharmacists
working in general practice.
- However, for the vast majority of people their current
experience of and views about pharmacists and what
services they and their teams provide is very different.
Many people are not aware of what services and
support can already be accessed in community
pharmacies – the setting where most people encounter
pharmacists. They associate pharmacy with convenience
and speed but see it as offering limited personal care.
- If pharmacists are to play a more active role in
supporting people with long-term conditions, and their
carers, the awareness of pharmacists and the services
they offer must be raised significantly.
- Pharmacists need to be recognised as part of the
multidisciplinary team that can support people with
long-term conditions in any setting. We need to ensure
there is effective coordination between pharmacy services
and all other agencies and professionals involved in the
care of people with long-term conditions. In particular,
more work needs to be done to join up the pathway
between general practice and community pharmacy.
- Partnerships and joint working between the pharmacy
profession and the voluntary and community sector can
help to raise awareness among people with long-term
conditions about the support that pharmacists can offer,
and help to educate pharmacists about how they can
most effectively support people with long-term conditions.
- The NHS needs to develop new models of care for
people with long-term conditions that put individuals
at the centre of their own care, supporting them to
manage their conditions.
- Pharmacists can help support a shift toward
person-centred care but they and the NHS need
to think and work in new ways.