£150,000 of public money has been saved just by reviewing the prescriptions of care home residents in Llanelli.
Llanelli AM Lee Waters has praised the model being rolled out by the town’s GPs who have come together in a group to employ a pharmacist to work alongside them.
By checking whether patients are getting the right medication the pharmacist has found 661 cases where medicines no longer need to be issued to patients. Doctors say this cuts out ineffective treatments for patients as well as freeing up 149 hours of GP time.
The initiative was set up by Hywel Dda Health Board’s Llanelli GP Cluster. Made up of local Doctors, Practice Managers, Nurses and Pharmacists, the Llanelli Cluster brings together Primary Care providers in Llanelli to share best practice, iron out communication problems improve healthcare services across the constituency.
One of the first initiatives of the Cluster was to employ a pharmacist to constantly review patients’ needs and how drugs are being dispensed in Nursing Homes and units across Llanelli.
Llanelli AM Lee Waters said:
“The NHS in Wales needs to find smarter ways of working to make the best use of the resources we have. Across Wales we spend £800 Million a year on medicines. The research shows that many of these don’t make much of an impact and aren’t taken properly, but busy GPs don’t have time to follow-up.”
“This new model of a pharmacist working with family Doctors across an area allows them to review medications to make sure patients are getting what they need, and cutting out treatments that are ineffective and wasteful.”
“This is all part of the way we need to modernise GP practices. The days of the local surgery being just about the family Doctor is coming to an end as we gradually build up a new model where there’s a team of professionals working together to keep us healthy.”
GP Alan Williams said:
“We are very pleased with the work Jennifer is producing after only working with us for a few months. Having a Pharmacist working in this way is improving delivery of patient care and is actually cheaper for the Health Board.”
“We have difficulty in recruiting GPs to work in West Wales and we are increasingly working more effectively with other Health Colleagues such as Pharmacists, Paramedics, Physios and Nurse Practitioners to deliver services as a Community Team.”
“The Cluster will have an increasing role in developing services to improve the health and wellbeing of the locality.”