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    General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    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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injectionJuly 1 2015

The number of attendances at injection equipment providers increased to 226,000 in 2013-14 in Scotland, up from 213,000 the previous year. Uptake increased particularly in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area where a change in injection equipment provision (IEP) was introduced in 2013-14.

There was also a slight increase in the number of outlets providing the service, but pharmacies continue to run 73% of injection equipment provision services. Of the 299 outlets, 218 were pharmacy-based, and the remainder were run as part of other services or agencies.

While these annual figures represent increases on the previous year, the Information Services Division of NHS Scotland points out that not all IEP outlets responded to the request to complete the survey. As analyses show data reported to ISD only by participating outlets, “caution should be exercised when interpreting trends,” says ISD.

“While the total number of IEP outlets increased slightly since 2012/13 (290), the percentage of pharmacies to overall outlets remained the same. However, it is worth noting that the percentage of pharmacies has decreased from 2009-10 (78%). Therefore, the increase in the number of outlets across Scotland from 2009-10 to 2013-14 was mainly driven by more agencies
providing IEP services.”

Provision of services per 100,000 population averages 6.8 outlets per 100,000 people. Lanarkshire has the lowest proportion at 3.9 outlets per 100,000 while Shetland has the highest at 10.6 outlets per 100,000.

Lanarkshire, along with Fife and Firth Valley, have the highest proportions of pharmacies compared to agencies providing services, while the data indicates there are proportionately more agencies in Ayrshire& Arran, Shetland, Lothian and Tayside. However, Lothian has been unable to report pharmacy activity fully.

Pharmacies distributed 2.5m million needles/syringes, 66% of a total of 3.8 million needles/syringes reported to have been distributed by participating outlets in 2013-14. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde saw the highest number, with for 1.1 million needles/syringes distributed.

“Coupled with increased attendances, this indicates fewer needles/syringes distributed per attendance compared to previous years. In 2013-14,” says the report. “NHS Dumfries and Galloway distributed the highest number of needles/syringes per head of adult population, distributing 1.4 needles/syringes per person.”

ISD points out that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde introduced a policy change allowing clients to access single or multiple ‘one hit kits’ instead of a minimum of 20 ‘one hit kits’ per transaction, resulting in a sharp rise in attendances.

“The further decline in needles/syringes distributed in 2013-14 may support the assertion that distributing packs to cover 20 injecting episodes leads to unused needles/syringes being discarded,” it says. “It is hoped that the introduction of ‘one hit kits’ will provide a truer representation of equipment use.”

In terms of paraphernalia, 244 IEP outlets reported distributing 3.5 million wipes/swabs, 243 outlets reported distributing 3.0 million citric acid/vitamin C items, 242 reported supplying sharps bins, 242 reported filters, and 243 reported supplying spoons. There was less reported supply of sterile water, only reported by 182 outlets, 68% of which were pharmacies.

Links:

ISD announcement    

ISD ‘Injecting Equipment Provision in Scotland Survey 2013/14’ report   

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