The current extreme pressures being seen in the Health and Social Care system is undoubtedly going to have a detrimental impact on patients, their families and healthcare staff.
As the most accessible healthcare professionals, community pharmacy teams are often the ones who are seen most regularly by patients. They can help to manage some of these pressures and free up GPs and EDs, allowing these departments to concentrate on more acute medical cases.
Gerard Greene, Chief Executive with Community Pharmacy NI explained,
“There isn’t one solution to the current pressures in the Health and Social Care system and the different parts of the health service have to work together. Community pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals and can play a greater part within primary care to help reduce pressure on GPs, OOHs and EDs. At a first port of call community pharmacy teams can provide important and timely health interventions for patients and their families.”
Community pharmacy can do so much more and wants to do more. A wealth of research evidence exists to show community pharmacy teams making a real difference to the lives of their patients, helping them to make significant improvements in adherence to their medicines and realising the benefit from this. However the profession is underutilised, and with proper resourcing can do more to support local patients and the current under-pressure health system.