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    Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:31
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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
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Carer-FriendlyFebruary 4 2015

A community pharmacy pilot scheme to help identify and support unpaid carers within the community has identified 128 carers in its first nine weeks.

The Programme aims help make sure carers receive support before they reach crisis point. When a carer is identified they are referred to other relevant resources locally. So far, 81% of carers referred have requested an information pack, 63% have requested a telephone call, and 72% have asked to be referred to their GP practice.

Taking part are 44 pharmacies working with nine Local Pharmaceutical Committees. It is hoped that the pilot scheme may pave the way for future commissioned pharmacy services after it has been independently evaluated.

The Carer-friendly Pharmacy Pilot has been set up by the Carers Trust and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee. It falls within a programme of work funded by the Department of Health and is part of the ‘Supporting Carers in General Practice Programme’ involving the Carers Trust, the Royal College of General Practitioners and Carers UK.

“Over recent years a number of carer-identification initiatives have been developed that have involved community pharmacies and local carers support organisations such as Carers Trust’s network partners,” says the Carers Trust.

“These have made use of the accessibility of community pharmacies, the frequency with which many carers visit their local pharmacy and the supportive and professional relationship many carers already have with their community pharmacy team.”

A Carer-Friendly Pharmacy is described as one where:

•    all staff are trained to be carer aware, sensitive to carers’ needs and the challenges they face and have developed enhanced communications skills to enable them to engage effectively with carers
•    all staff are pro-active in identifying, referring and supporting carers
•    the pharmacy identifies a member of the team who takes on the role of Carers Champion along with a deputy, to lead and facilitate carer referrals, act as a contact point for external agencies such as the local carers centre and GP practices, to support a multi-disciplinary approach and to maintain stocks of resources
•    posters and/or other related materials make it clear to the customer that the pharmacy is carer-friendly and encourage them to self-identify
•    the pharmacy offers a range of services, such as Medicines Use Reviews and prescription collection and delivery, in a manner that is relevant to the carer;
•    with the carer’s consent, the pharmacy will refer the carer to their local carers services and/or their GP.

Alastair Buxton, PSNC’s Head of NHS Services, commented: “Pharmacies are the most visited of all the healthcare professions and are therefore ideally positioned to support carers in the community.

“We hope this pilot will help us build the evidence base for the commissioning of carer identification and support services from community pharmacies in the future. The current figures show it is already demonstrating the importance of a collaborative approach to support services in community settings, as championed by the NHS Five Year Forward View.”

Links:

PSNC announcement    

Carer Friendly Pharmacy project description    

Carers Trust    

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July 31 2018 General practices employing pharmacists are citing improved capacity to see patients and workload changes as the main benefits of the scheme.
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