The group (see more details below), which consists of representatives of all of the larger pharmacy chains, as well as the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), published a report on best practices for medicines delivery services last month.
As well as delivery services, the group’s other priorities include working with the NHS to improve the systems by which pharmacies can report patient safety incidences, as well as creating “top tips around dispensing children’s medicine”, according to Company Chemists' Association senior policy adviser Kate Livesey, who provides secretariat support for the group.
“Children are one of the most vulnerable patient groups. So that is an area we’re focusing on, because different pharmacies do things in different ways,” Ms Livesey told C+D last Friday (June 30).
“There’s a really simple tip somebody mentioned the other week, which was…using a stamp that said ‘child’ in red ink. Every time a prescription came in for somebody who was under 14, they stamped it.”
“It draws the team’s attention to that script in a different way,” Ms Livesey said. “They think about the small person behind the prescription, rather than potentially just seeing a piece of paper.”
Reasons for dispensing errors
The group will also follow up on some of the issues featured in the NPA’s medication safety officer’s reports, Ms Livesey explained.
“Everyone just accepts [what] the most common errors in [pharmacies] are. But we don’t want to accept that.”
As well as “looking at lettering on prescriptions”, she added that the group will consider if there is “a different way dispensaries can be organised that would help reduce the likelihood of some of those errors?”.