Frontline pharmacists: making a difference for people with long term conditions

Royal Pharmaceutical Society, November 2016

This report argues that community pharmacists should be able to routinely prescribe medicines for people with long term conditions and refer them directly to other healthcare professionals to ease the overwhelming demand facing the NHS.  Care for people with long term conditions, such as such as diabetes or asthma, currently accounts for 50% of all GP appointments, 64% of all outpatient appointments 70% of all health and social care spending.

The RPS is calling for a change in policy regarding the training of prescribers to enable more pharmacists to become prescribers. This means they could take on the management of patients whose condition is stable but require regular monitoring and alteration of their medicines to stay well, so keeping them out of hospital or GP surgeries.

Click here to view the report.

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Multimorbidity: clinical assessment and management. NICE Guideline.

NICE, September 2016

This guideline covers optimising care for adults with multimorbidity (multiple long-term conditions) by reducing treatment burden (polypharmacy and multiple appointments) and unplanned care. It aims to improve quality of life by promoting shared decisions based on what is important to each person in terms of treatments, health priorities, lifestyle and goals. The guideline sets out which people are most likely to benefit from an approach to care that takes account of multimorbidity, how they can be identified and what the care involves.

Click here to access the guideline.

Community pharmacy forward view

PSNC, September 2016

Written jointly with Pharmacy Voice, this document sets out the ambitions for community pharmacies to enhance and expand personalised care, support  and wellbeing services offered by the sector. The paper also argues for fuller integration with other local health and care services and highlights the role of the community pharmacy in being the facilitator of personalised care for patients with long-term conditions and in being a neighbourhood health and wellbeing hub.

Click here to read the full report.

A practical guide to self-management support: key components for successful implementation

The Health Foundation, December 2015

This guide provides an overview of self-management support and the key components for effective implementation. It is aimed at those starting their self-management support journey and those building on and improving the support that they already provide. The guide explains what self-management support is and why it is important. It then looks at various aspects of putting it into practice, including planning and commissioning, building knowledge, skills and confidence, and measurement and evaluation. It also contains suggestions for further reading and case studies of self-management support in practice.

Click here to read the guidance.

Peer support: what is it and does it work?

National Voices, May 2015

This review found evidence that peer support can help people feel more knowledgeable, confident and happy, and less isolated and alone. It also showed that there is a limited understanding of the different forms of peer support, how best to deliver support and the forms of training and infrastructure to get the most impact from it so concludes that further evidence is needed to fully understand the impact it has on the health service and individuals with long-term health conditions.

Click here to view the report.

App maps long term conditions

E-Health Insider, 17 February 2015

A new mobile app has been launched to make it easier for people with long-term conditions to log their symptoms and medications.  The Health Mapper app allows users to track single of multiple health conditions and record any symptoms, medications, measurements or lifestyle variables like sleep, diet, or exercise.  They can then create and export health reports and customised charts allowing them to share information with their doctor via email or the app.  Health Mapper can be downloaded for via the Apple Itunes store.

Click here for further information.

A rapid synthesis of the evidence on interventions supporting self-management for people with long-term conditions: PRISMS – practical systematic review of self-management support for long-term conditions

National Institute for Health Research, December 2014

Everyone who has a long-term condition (LTC), such as arthritis or asthma, has to deal with (or ‘self-manage’) their condition, sometimes with the help of a spouse, friends or a carer. In addition to physical symptoms, LTCs often have social and emotional effects on people.  The NIHR were commissioned to look at what can be done to support self-management across a wide range of LTCs and to make suggestions to those providing health services. This was done by systematically summarising the research that has been done in the area.

The report concludes that supporting good self-management is inseparable from the high-quality care all people with LTCs should receive. Supporting self-management is not a substitute for care from doctors and nurses but a hallmark of good care. Providers of services for people with LTCs should consider how they can actively support self-management.

Click here to download the full paper.