North Manchester General’s pharmacy department increases links with patients in the community
THE pharmacy department at North Manchester General Hospital is transforming the way that it is working and has become increasingly involved in providing support to patients within the community setting.
There is currently a team of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working within North Manchester community services, providing support to intermediate care facilities, the falls prevention service and the crisis response service.
Each service has recognised the importance of having support from a specialist pharmacist in supporting patients with their medication, enabling them to get the most out of their medicines and reduce the risk of hospitalisation as a result of poor medicines management.
Pharmacist Salina Callighan and technician Stacey Walton currently support the crisis response service. This involves visiting patients at high risk of admission into hospital and looking at ways to optimise medicines’ usage to prevent this from happening.
Salina said: “Patients often have medicines scattered all around their home and so working out exactly what they should be taking can sometimes prove difficult. However, helping a patient at home is always rewarding and there is a real sense of achievement when you help make a difference to a patient’s day to day life.”
Technician Joanne Leach works within intermediate care to assist patients with managing their own medicines when returning home. She said:
“Often in hospital patients are not responsible for taking their own medicines, changes are often made and they become confused about what they are supposed to be taking. Whilst receiving rehabilitation in an intermediate care unit they are encouraged to take back that responsibility to ensure they can manage their medicines correctly when they return home.”
Pharmacists Gavin Ronaldson and Salina have also been involved in several pilot projects looking at how the pharmacy department at North Manchester General Hospital can further support community patients. Salina has recently spent time within North Manchester Integrated Neighbourhood Care (NMINC) with the active case managers to develop a referral process for the patients they see who may have medication related problems.
A further pilot project to support patients when they are discharged from hospital is also being tested by pharmacist Gavin Ronaldson and technician Stacey. Gavin said: “By following patients up at home after discharge it is hoped that any problems with medication can be identified and dealt with in the community, in conjunction with the patient’s GP and local pharmacist in order to avoid readmission into hospital.”