Caring for people with long-term conditions

lung-capacity-check-consultationThe Community Pharmacy Future (CPF) project has been running since 2011 and is sponsored by the four largest pharmacy companies (Boots, Well (formerly Co-op), Lloyds and Rowlands), but involves pharmacies from across the sector.  The project has successfully tested three services; a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) case finding service to detect undiagnosed COPD patients, an award-winning COPD support service to help individuals better manage their long-term condition (LTC), and a support service for people over 65 taking four or more medicines (FOMM), where the pharmacist held regular consultations with individuals to discuss risk of falls, pain management, adherence and general health.

52 pharmacies in Wakefield and North Kirklees worked with individuals from February 2015 – July 2016 to both identify their own personalised health goals and to plan the actions needed to achieve them. Through the project, pharmacy care plans were set up for over 700 people over the age of 50 with multiple LTCs.

This support helped them to understand their conditions and get the best from the medicines and devices they were using.  Ongoing support was given at regular intervals, in conjunction with a person’s monthly supply of medicines over 12 months. Each individual had condition-specific assessments and personalised support (such as falls risk assessment), as well as access to public health services and signposting to local healthcare professionals and patient support groups.

Analysis has shown improvements in medicines adherence, people’s skills and confidence in managing their health care, as well as quality of life.

Other examples of how community pharmacy teams are supporting people to manage their long-term conditions can be found in this recent Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) report: Frontline pharmacists: Making a difference for people with long-term conditions

Case study: Boots Wakefield Alverthorpe Road

A particular individual who enrolled in the service had not had her hypertension reviewed for a long time. During her first appointment her cholesterol was through the roof and her blood pressure so high she needed to go to hospital. Later, she mentioned some symptoms that were suggestive of diabetes, so a GP review was arranged. It was discovered she had an advanced stage of diabetes. As a result her medicines were all changed to treat her resistant hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. She was also given extensive advice, in particular the British Heart Foundation cholesterol advice. She was also encouraged to and given the support to quit smoking by starting her on Champix, and also started exercising and eating more healthily.