We are delighted to announce that over 60 members of the Primary & Community Care Pharmacy Network (PCCPN) have joined UKCPA as one of our communities of practice.
Community Health Services (CHS) pharmacists and technicians are a group of pharmacy practitioners employed within Community Health Services. They work alongside other healthcare professionals providing ‘cradle-to-grave’ services in various care settings from inpatient rehabilitation units to special schools to patient’s own homes. These teams work closely with acute hospitals, GPs, community pharmacists, social care and voluntary organisations, aiming to provide quality care and improved health outcomes.
The teams offer a wide range of care, such as:
- helping patients to manage their long-term conditions
- treating those who are seriously ill with complex needs
- supporting preventive services such as sexual health and child health services by offering pharmaceutical expertise
- procuring medicines
- ensuring adherence to legislation & clinical governance
- Support and training for immunisation teams
- Community dental services
Further information on the future plans for Community Health Services can be found here together with more examples on the types of services contained within CHS, the majority of which require Medicines Optimisation support.
“The umbrella of UKCPA is the ideal platform for a group like this. We believe that being part of UKCPA will support us to achieve our goals and objectives, as well as enrich and learn from the other UKCPA communities of practice.”Kam Takhar, Deputy Chief Pharmacist at NELFT NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the UKCPA Community Health Services Committee
Kam Takhar will take the role of Chair of the new UKCPA Community Health Services Committee, which will lead on activities such as delivering education, providing expertise to national consultations, and ensuring the voice of CHS pharmacy teams are heard within the profession and beyond.
As members of UKCPA, Community Health Services pharmacists and technicians have access to a dedicated online community for discussion and sharing of best practice, as well as access to all the other UKCPA online communities. The Committee have access to administrative support for delivering online and face-to-face education and training, consultation responses and involvement in national initiatives.
“We are delighted to welcome our colleagues from community health services as members of UKCPA, and are very much looking forward to working more closely with the Committee on exciting projects which will support this sector of practice as well as showcase their expertise.”Dr Ruth Bednall, Chair of UKCPA
CHS pharmacy teams have been instrumental in the healthcare system during the COVID pandemic, and have undertaken the following aspects of pharmaceutical care and management:
- Provision of guidance to other disciplines on all aspects of medicines optimisation.
- Working across organisations to ensure responsive and effective medicines provision for patients as they transfer from one care setting to another.
- Strategic pharmaceutical advice and supporting the wider governance agenda
- Supporting secondary and primary care colleagues by building resilience in the system to ensure robust processes are in place during transfer of care and once at home, to ensure patient safety.
- Facilitating rapid discharge of patients to assist acute trust partners to increase capacity.
- Supporting early intervention community teams and community based pathways within primary care to keep patients at home and out of A&E, for example by supporting services to administer IV drugs safely in community settings.
- CHS Pharmacy teams are working closely with CCGs and community pharmacists to ensure supply chain issues are highlighted and alternative solutions found. Access to end of life medicines has been at the forefront and these teams have fast tracked the setting up of these services in primary care where such services never existed.
- Guidance and support from CHS pharmacy teams on patient/carer involvement in medicines administration in end of life care has gained momentum and the procurement of alternative route EoLC medicines for the management of symptoms has become a key priority for CHS pharmacists.
- Ensuring adequate supplies of oxygen to both CHS inpatient units and patients in their own homes. Ensuring the provision of medicines to CHS community units without destabilising the supply chain.
- Supporting pharmaceutical requirements of hubs set up in the pandemic.