Fife Health and Social Care Partnership Board Members have heard how work with patients is helping to improve wellbeing through management of medicines.
Fiona Allan, Senior Clinical Pharmacist in Polypharmacy, gave a presentation which outlined the work that NHS Fife and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership are wanting to replicate across the Kingdom as part of the approach to get the best for patients and their medicines.
Fiona stated: “Polypharmacy just means ‘lots of medicines’. We know that the more medicines patients have to take on a daily basis, the more they are at risk of possible side effects. This is particularly true for frail elderly patients. My role involves meeting with patients, generally over the age of 65, on more than 5 regular medicines (often more than ten), to check how they are managing with their medicines.
We work together to ensure there is a clear need for every tablet they are on, that all their medicines are working well, that there are no side effects or problems and, most importantly, that the patient is willing and able to manage their overall list of pills. My patients have described it as their ‘medicines MOT’. This is not about stopping medicines. It is about getting the best possible combination of medicines for you.”
Fiona told the story of one patient, who she worked with over a period of 2 months to optimise her medicines. Linda from Kirkcaldy, was initially on 11 meds and through working with Fiona this reduced to six. By working together, they succeeded in reducing her risk of falling and stomach problems and most importantly Linda said she felt better and had an improved quality of life.
Fiona added: “Pharmacists are ideally placed to help with this type of review and it would be great to roll this service out further to more patients. Making a difference to patients is what it is all about.”