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Award-winning pharmacy AF scheme expanded to screen 3,000 patients

A collaborative scheme to screen for undiagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF) in community pharmacies will be rolled out to 3,000 patients over 18 months.

The C+D Award-winning project – Capture AF – originally involved 10 community pharmacies in Hillingdon, London and the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust’s specialist arrhythmia care team. The pharmacists involved tested 600 patients for AF over a six-month period in 2016.

Sally Manning, lead arrhythmia pharmacist at the trust, told C+D last week (January 10) that the scheme has been awarded £100,000 to expand and reach more patients.

“We applied for a funding stream provided by the Imperial College Health Partners Academic Health Science Network, in collaboration with Pfizer,” Ms Manning said.

“The aim of the project is to increase the number of pharmacists able to deliver the Capture AF service and collect robust data to support the long-term and national rollout of the project,” she said. “We aim to start screening patients in March.”

Zainab Khanbhai – a senior pharmacist at the trust and project lead – added they "already have [the] 10 pharmacies from the original study and will be recruiting another 20".

Access for Hillingdon residents

Rikin Patel, a community pharmacist and vice-chair of Hillingdon local pharmaceutical committee (LPC), said the team from Harefield Hospital are attending the next LPC meeting.

“We hope to finalise the selection process and recruit the other sites,” Mr Patel told C+D.

Extending the scheme will ensure Hillingdon residents have access to a “quick and easy screen at a local pharmacy”, Mr Patel stressed, and will also “raise awareness of AF among the public and pharmacy teams”.

Do you screen for atrial fibrillation in your pharmacy?

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