Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) plans to align one pharmacist with every care home will particularly benefit patients with dementia, it has predicted.
Following the release of the Prime Minister's strategy for tackling dementia in England, the RPS said giving pharmacists more responsibility in care homes would reduce inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs in dementia patients.
Spokesperson Neal Patel said pharmacists can work with GPs to make sure there is “active review” of prescribing decisions for these patients.
The RPS unveiled its plans to broaden the sector's role in care homes last month. The sector could save the NHS £135 million a year by optimising care home residents’ use of medicines and keeping them out of hospital, it said.
Mr Patel told C+D that the move would “support the 80% of care home residents who have a dementia diagnosis”.
“Community pharmacists have a huge role to play; we have advocated for all pharmacists to consider becoming 'dementia friends' to support those with a dementia diagnosis as well as their friends and family,” Mr Patel said.
PM's dementia strategy
The Prime Minister launched his 2020 dementia challenge report earlier this month (March 6). It sets out more than 50 ways England can become a “world-leader” in dementia care.
As part of the strategy, the Prime Minister plans to build "care-ready homes" designed for patients with long term conditions. These homes will sit within "care campuses", which will also house pharmacies.