Beacon Medical Group and local Pharmacies featured in new national best practice guide
Today, the National Association of Primary Care has published their new guide to inspire further integration of community pharmacy within primary care homes (PCHs) to improve patients’ health and support them to manage their conditions. The local GP practice which supports patients across Ivybridge, Plymouth and South Devon has featured heavily in its efforts to work more closely with high street pharmacies and provide more services for local people.
While community pharmacy and general practice have traditionally worked closely together, the paper concludes that by learning from those leading the way, such as Beacon Medical Group, and exploring innovative ways of working together they could have a far bigger impact on improving the health and care needs of their local population.
The new guide Primary care home: community pharmacy integration and innovation was developed by national clinical leaders and looks at ways local pharmaceutical committees such as Devon LPC, community pharmacies and PCHs can make greater use of pharmacists’ skills as part of a PCHs’ whole population health management approach.
In our local area, pharmacists have been deployed within the GP practice setting to provide additional access for urgent queries, within care homes to provide proactive care and to improve medication safety and in high street locations to help vulnerable patients be protected from flu and receive care for respiratory conditions. The local initiatives have also been celebrated nationally through the General Practice Awards.
Dr Jonathan Cope, GP at Beacon Medical Group PCH, said: “At Beacon Medical Group we made a conscious decision to embrace our clinical colleagues in our neighbouring community pharmacies.
Our joint flu vaccination campaign not only improved take up rates in some key patient groups, it also helped to strengthen lines of communication and trust between GPs and community pharmacists. In our experience, collaboration is an important part of building a sustainable future for health.”
Ash Soni, NAPC Executive member and President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “Historically, there have sometimes been tensions between pharmacy and general practice on who provides what for patients and public.
This is an important document to enable pharmacy and general practice to collaborate effectively within primary care homes to provide enhanced care and outcomes to the populations they both serve by recognising the strengths and capabilities of pharmacists and their teams.”
David Bearman, Chair of Devon LPC, added “The Devon LPC, the Local Professional Network and Beacon Medical Group have been working together for some time now, testing out ways that community pharmacy can work in a more integrated way with primary care. It’s fantastic to see that our hard work has paid off and this is now moving forward as a recognised model of working.
The Devon LPC vision is for community pharmacy to be at the heart of the community delivering effective health care services. They can deliver effective health care services that are integrated into key patient pathways. The development of healthy living pharmacies across Devon also means that the profession is perfectly aligned to start moving towards Action Four – aligning population health needs and taking the first steps towards become local health and wellbeing hubs.
The new guide is being launched at the NAPC offices on Wednesday 16 May at 3.30pm. It will be available on the NAPC website https://napc.co.uk.