The role of pharmacy in delivering person-centred care

Report

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.

Summary

  • 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.

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The role of pharmacy in delivering person-centered care

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