Leadership skills lead to leap in medication reviews

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 17 July 2009




(2009), "Leadership skills lead to leap in medication reviews", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 22 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/lhs.2009.21122cab.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Leadership skills lead to leap in medication reviews

Article Type: News and views From: Leadership in Health Services, Volume 22, Issue 3

Keywords: Leadership skills, Quality improvement initiatives, Patient involvement

The number of medication reviews carried out by health-care professionals in Wirral has skyrocketed, with an eightfold increase reported over the past four months, according to research from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

The initial results, showing referrals for medication reviews had gone from just ten to over 80 each month, were presented at the Leading Across Boundaries event to the Primary Care Trust (PCT) chief executive and board members and directors of NHS Wirral. Also present at the event were representatives from the area’s health, social care and voluntary sectors.

Wirral’s health- and social-care professionals involved in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain’s Leading Across Boundaries programme increased the uptake in medication reviews through a number of initiatives. This included engaging with key professional groups, successfully promoting the scheme and redeveloping the referral process and forms to include triaging to PCT technicians or community pharmacists’ medicines use reviews (MURs) for less complex cases. For more complex cases, a full clinical medication review is undertaken by a PCT practice pharmacist.

The Society’s Leading Across Boundaries programme is designed to achieve an organisational goal by developing the individual leadership skills of health- and social-care workers as part of a collaborative, multidisciplinary team.

Local Pharmaceutical Committee representative, Melanie Carroll said: “All boundaries have been broken down to enable me to be able to work as an integrated part of the local healthcare economy.”

The team revealed a steady rise in medication review referral numbers to nearly 90 per month in February 2009. A total of 95 per cent of interventions involved a quality improvement and the vast majority were accepted by the patient’s GP. Cost savings were also made, mainly due to drugs being stopped or changed. Patient response was universally positive and many were keen to recommend the service to others. Patients also felt they better understood the functions and efficacy of their medicines after the review.

Medication reviews give pharmacists the chance to work with patients to examine their medicines use. The pharmacist can advise the patient on medicines adherence and can advise the patient’s doctor on changes to treatment.

Leading Across Boundaries member and Principal Manager for Adult Social Services, Cathy Gill said: “I have enjoyed being part of Leading Across Boundaries. It has given me the opportunity to develop effective networks in the health economy while undertaking a project with positive outcomes for people who use the services.”

Medication reviews can improve patient care and reduce hospital admissions through the correct use of medicines and better knowledge of their use. The initiative sought to increase the numbers of referrals from around ten per month over the past two years.

The team is now looking at widening its referral base for medication reviews, and would welcome the opportunity to lead more initiatives within the area’s health- and social-care sectors.

For more information visit: www.rpsgb.org.uk

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