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Devon diabetes service boosts adherence

Clinical Pharmacists could halve the number of diabetes patients failing to take their medicines correctly, a pilot scheme evaluation that ran across 12 Devon pharmacies has concluded

Pharmacists could halve the number of diabetes patients failing to take their medicines correctly, a pilot evaluation has concluded.

A type 2 diabetes support service, which ran across 12 Devon pharmacies in July and August, resulted in half of the patients with ‘low' adherence being boosted up to a ‘medium' score, according to a report published this week (December 9).

The pilot involved a face-to-face consultation, followed by a phone call from the pharmacist two to three weeks later. At the first consultation, almost three quarters of the 111 patients who took part in the pilot agreed to follow an action plan - planned with a pharmacist - to improve their adherence.

At the second consultation, 56 per cent of patients were still adhering to all of the pharmacists' recommendations, the report's authors found. One in three patients had stuck to some of the recommendations, they said.

Devon LPC project leader Mark Stone hopes publicity around the diabetes service will create support for further research

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A follow-up survey conducted by an independent researcher on 34 patients found that although patients were more knowledgeable about their condition, their average adherence score had only increased by 1 per cent as a result of the service.

However, three of the six patients who had reported a low adherence score at the beginning of the project had moved up to a ‘medium' score. Based on these figures, the service would have halved the number of patients with a low adherence level if all patients had been surveyed, the report concluded.

Devon LPC project leader Mark Stone said that although the numbers were small, there was enough evidence to show it was a "significant change in behaviour". He was keen to see the project rolled out to a national level, he said.

"We want to target those with low adherence and pharmacy has a place in that," he told C+D.

"We hope to use the publicity to highlight the work pharmacists can do to improve compliance and request support for further research," he added.

In September, preliminary findings from the pilot were presented at a meeting in parliament and received support from Diabetes UK, NHS England and Adrian Sanders MP.

Would you like to see a type 2 diabetes service rolled out across the country?

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