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Patient to pharmacists: Help us be more open in medicine consultations

Me and My Medicines is a campaign that aims to improve the safe use of medicines
Me and My Medicines is a campaign that aims to improve the safe use of medicines

Pharmacists could improve medicines adherence by encouraging patients to be more open with them during consultations, the head of a patient-led campaign has told C+D.

Patients make a “huge contribution” to the “safer use of medicines”, and want healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, to involve them more in consultations, Mr Prestwich told C+D at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) annual conference on Sunday (November 17).

Graham Prestwich, public and patient engagement lead for the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network campaign Me and My Medicines, highlighted the importance of having a “joined-up approach” and “good consultation skills” in encouraging medicines adherence.

The campaign, which launched in April 2018 in Leeds, was “born out of the need” for healthcare professionals and patients to work “more closely” together and “improve the use of medicines”, he explained.

Rather than ask clinicians about the safer use of medicines, Mr Prestwich “took a different approach”, and spoke to patients in the community about what they felt made a “good consultation”.

The main issue that emerged was patients leaving consultations with unresolved medicines issues, Mr Prestwich said. Healthcare professionals can help by making the conversation “more positive” and encouraging patients to be “clear and open”, he added.

“Pharmacists know their patients really well”

While pharmacists “know their patients really well”, there is scope to improve communication with patients, Mr Prestwich suggested.

“We need to create a method to allow both sides to join up a little bit more,” he explained.

Some patients may have “disorganised” lives that make taking medicines more difficult, so it is important to “support people in different ways to meet their needs”, rather than just offer them information about what the medicine does, Mr Prestwich said.

How do you conduct open discussions with patients about their medicines?

Snake Plissken, Student

Pharmacists to patients: Help us to get appropriate remuneration for the services we provide.

D Change, Community pharmacist

We shouldn't do anything for free. cut this and cut that...nonsense.
Pay us accordingly for the work you want us to do. The world doesn't run on freebies.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

So tell me again about how MURs are being scrapped?

Michael Achiampong, Community pharmacist

Great insights Graham. There was a palpable hush in the audience as Graham spoke to fellow delegates at the RPS annual conference.

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