Background Anecdotal evidence from community pharmacies (CPs) and care homes indicate palliative care medicines are often incorrectly prescribed due to lack of knowledge of CD (controlled drugs) regulations and of doses/formulations used. These incidents did not lead to patient harm but changes to prescriptions cause unnecessary delays to symptom management for patients and additional stress for carers collecting medicines.
Aims The aims of the project were to produce resources for primary care teams to help support safe prescribing and supply of these medicines and to raise awareness of the Community Pharmacy Palliative Care Network. The network pharmacies keep an agreed stock list of palliative medicines and receive annual generalist palliative care training. We also wanted to challenge CPs’ awareness of the issues families face when trying to access palliative medicines and support them to improve their service.
Baseline surveys to gain feedback from community pharmacy staff, GP practice staff and district nurses (DN) on issues with prescribing and supply of palliative care medicines.
Developed resources with key safe prescribing messages and distributed to all CPs and GP clinical pharmacists, GP practices, district nurses and care homes, with copies of the Scottish Palliative Care Guideline handbooks and Palliative Care Network leaflet.
Presented to local conferences and team meetings about project and distributed resources.
Improve awareness of 40 Palliative Care Network Pharmacies and how they can help support palliative patients.
The baseline survey showed 78% of survey respondents were aware of the Palliative Care Network Pharmacies, repeated survey showed this had increased to 92%.
‘What influences your choice of community pharmacy?’- the response, ‘Good relationship with community pharmacy’ increased from 18% to 52%.
Repeated requests for more resources.
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