Scratchcards are being used by pharmacists in Yorkshire to encourage patients to assess their medicines adherence.
The six-week medicines optimisation campaign, which launched last week (May 27), involves pharmacists handing out scratchcards to recruit patients for MURs and the new medicine service (NMS). More than 30 pharmacies in Calderdale were taking parting part, Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire (CPWY) said.
The postcard-sized adherence aids were designed to remove the "barriers" pharmacists experienced when trying to sign up patients to these services, said CPWY chief executive Robbie Turner. The cards should "engage" patients and enable them to "turn round" and request the services themselves, he told C+D.
The scratchcards are intended to engage patients and encourage them to request MURs and NMS directly from the pharmacist
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The cards, which were funded by Pfizer and developed with the NPA, ask patients to answer five simple questions about how they took their medicines and whether they worked effectively, by scratching out responses ranging from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree".
The scratchcards would help patients to identify if they needed a consultation with the pharmacist and were a "prompt" to make patients feel more confident in asking for help, Mr Turner stressed.
CPWY, which was the first pharmacy group to trial the cards, agreed to take part because of the success of a similar alcohol scratchcard campaign in pharmacies in London and Devon two years ago, Mr Turner said.
He added that CPWY planned to contact all participating pharmacies next week for feedback and, if the initiative proved successful, the group would explore options to roll it out across the rest of Yorkshire.
"We hope that scratchcards will be beneficial in supporting this conversation between patients and pharmacists, and that's really what the evaluation is there to demonstrate," he added.
Last year, the NPA pledged to boost commissioning of pharmacy alcohol services following two positive evaluations of the regional scratchcard schemes. Participating pharmacies had identified high-risk drinking habits in approximately 40 per cent of customers given an alcohol scratchcard, the NPA said.
What other issues could scratchcards be suitable for?