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Manchester pharmacists gear up for school inhaler scheme

Practice A pilot scheme will send pharmacists into local schools to teach children, parents and teachers how to perfect the use of inhalers, Community Pharmacy Great Manchester has announced

Pharmacists in Manchester are getting ready to help schoolchildren with asthma perfect their inhaler technique, in a scheme they believe to be one of the first in the country.  

LPC consortium Community Pharmacy Greater Manchester (CPGM) is in talks with local councils and school governors about running a pilot scheme in schools involving a group of up to 21 pharmacists teaching children, their parents and teachers about the correct use of inhalers, its chairman Peter Marks told C+D on Friday (October 4).  

The scheme, which is still in its planning stages, follows on from the success of the Greater Manchester inhaler technique project run by CPGM, which trained 300 pharmacists to help asthma patients.


The planned school scheme follows the success of the Greater Manchester inhaler technique project, which trained 300 pharmacists to help asthma patients

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Mr Marks highlighted that 92 per cent of asthma patients across the country use inhalers incorrectly, with 94 per cent of professionals teaching the technique incorrectly. "I'm getting it to schools because I think we need to help," he said. "It's been quite exciting because it's not been done before." 

Mr Marks said he hoped the scheme would start in the new year and estimated it could cost between £300 and £400 to teach the technique in half a day, using input from pharmacists and possibly a nurse.  

The Greater Manchester inhaler technique project had helped an adult who had been using an inhaler for 50 years but had the wrong technique, said Mr Marks. "They [patients] are not getting the benefit of the medicines," he added. An evaluation of the adult inhaler project will be published in the spring.  

A study of 7,457 asthma patients across Europe presented to the annual congress of the European Respiratory Society last month found that just over half of respondents had not had their inhaler technique checked in the past year. Just one in five had used pharmacists as a main source of information.



What other areas health issues would suit CPGM's in-school approach?

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