We constantly hear about primary care creaking at the seams; and community pharmacy is ready and able to be deployed in so many areas to help. Secondary care is transferring to primary care and GPs simply cannot cope - so much of the traditional GP work is being done by practice nurses; who themselves are being stretched. If commissioned community pharmacy would be able to take the work load off busy practice nurses and GPs. There's no reason why we couldn't manage certain long term conditions as well as over health professionals. For example, hypertension patients could be actively managed when they call in for their prescription via blood pressure monitoring, repeat dispensing and some feedback mechanism. Doses could be adjusted where necessary via PGDs or prescribing. Another example could be patients with asthma, where they are actively managed in a similar way using spirometry or peak flow monitoring and inhaler technique monitoring. A "beefed up" minor ailment scheme from all pharmacies with proper referral by all agencies would certainly take the strain off GPs and lead to less hospital attendance at casualty.
There are many others possible services...they just need to be commissioned.
The LPC is engaging with all the appropriate commissioning bodies to try and ensure that such services are commissioned as soon as possible...hopefully the penny will drop and community pharmacies will be empowered to really provide professional pharmaceutical care like our colleagues in hospital have been doing for many years.
This will lead to so many positive health benefits to the residents of Gateshead & South Tyneside.