Community Pharmacy Future Group reveals improved care

Exciting new research conducted by the Community Pharmacy Future group (Boots UK, LloydsPharmacy, Rowlands Pharmacy and Well Pharmacy) and academics from the University of East Anglia demonstrates how community pharmacy can support patients with long-term conditions (LTCs) to improve their quality of life and provide cost effective solutions for the NHS.

The healthcare needs of the nation continue to change due to the ageing population and increasing co-morbidity of LTCs.  Currently in England, over 15 million people are living with one or more LTC such as diabetes or asthma, and for the majority medicines will be the first line of their treatment.

In the second phase of their award-winning work, the Community Pharmacy Future group have successfully delivered a new Pharmacy Care Plan (PCP) service to a large cohort of patients in West Yorkshire.  The service uses validated clinical tools to support patients who have multiple LTCs, including the Patient Activation Measure (PAM®), which assesses the knowledge, skill and confidence a person has in managing their own health and health care. Research suggests that by moving from the lowest activation level to the highest, healthcare costs can be reduced by up to 21%.

The study and its results show that this new model of care, which has a person-centred approach at its heart, empowers patients to manage their own condition, and supports the NHS self-care agenda. The PCP service focuses on interventions that community pharmacists can deliver using regular discussions with patients when they are collecting prescribed medication. These include tailored coaching, signposting, and self-management guidance aimed at increasing patients’ levels of activation.

Clare Kerr, Head of Healthcare Policy and Strategy for Celesio UK said: “The design, delivery and evaluation of this service has grown the ever-increasing evidence base for the value of community pharmacy, which was one of the key goals for this project.”

Jane Devenish, NHS Standards and Services Pharmacist at Well, added: “With the NHS under unprecedented pressure to transform, Community Pharmacy Care Plans must become part of the integrated package of care commissioned by the NHS so that each patient gets appropriate support to reach their health goals”.