Two New NHS Initiatives Available in Community Pharmacy

Published: 25th February, 2014 in: News Pulse

Two new NHS health initiatives available in community pharmacy to help reduce hospital admissions in Doncaster

Every week around 100 people in Doncaster have an emergency admission to hospital suffering from breathing difficulties and a range of chest and respiratory problems, some of which could be avoided by effectively using an inhaler. Recent research carried out in South Yorkshire revealed around 95 per cent of patients who are issued with an inhaler don’t know how to use it properly.

In a bid to help reduce the number of hospital admissions in the elderly, Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have launched a new NHS Pilot Scheme to help those patients who are prescribed with an inhaler. Available in community pharmacies across the borough, patients will be offered a free training session with the pharmacist when they collect their inhaler from the Pharmacy to ensure that they are using the equipment correctly.

Richard Wells, Superintendent Pharmacist for Weldricks Pharmacy, “We welcome this new initiative, it is very clear that many people with on-going respiratory problems are not always getting the maximum benefit from their haler due to poor technique, ultimately putting themselves at risk. Incorrect use is usually easily rectified by the patient being shown how to breathe at the correct time or the pace at which they inhale.”
The second initiative funded by the CCG is designed to reduce the number of falls experienced by the elderly and frail. Recent research carried out by the Government’s health and care watchdog, NICE, has found that people aged over 65 who are taking three or more different medications have an increased risk of having a fall.

Claire Thomas, Weldricks Pharmacist, Armthorpe said “Some medicines can result in patients feeling light-headed which may cause them to fall if they are not careful. It is important that patients understand the possible side effects that some medicines might have”. 
Patients fulfilling the age/medicine criteria will be invited to speak with their pharmacist so that a review can be carried out on their mediciation. Anyone who is identified as being at risk will be referred to the NHS’s local falls prevention team who will make suggestions on how to reduce their risk of a fall and ultimately avoid unnecessary hospitalisation.

The success of both schemes are to be evaluated at the end of March 2014.

If you have any questions about the correct use of an inhaler or other prescribed medication do not hesitate to speak to your pharmacist. Most Weldricks Pharmacy branches now offer a consultation room for your privacy and convenience.