An innovative new pharmacy service has won the national Scottish Pharmacist Award for Innovation and Change in Pharmacy Practice 2015.
The Macmillan Pharmacy Service, the first of its kind in the UK covers all 291 community pharmacies in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and is jointly funded by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The service works alongside an existing Community Pharmacy Palliative Care Network and other community care services to help support palliative care patients with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness.
The service also supports patients, should they choose, to die peacefully at home rather than spending their final days in hospital.
Lead Pharmacist for the Service, Dr Kate McCusker, said: “Winning this award is a great achievement for the team and the service.
“I have no doubt that this recognition will help us to raise awareness of our service and engage with other healthcare teams to improve palliative care services for patients and their carers.”
Senior Macmillan Development Manager, Trisha Hatt, congratulated the team. She said: “This is a very well deserved award and we are delighted that the extremely valuable work this project is achieving has been recognised.
“Macmillan believes that if someone is nearing the end of their life, they should have a choice over where to spend that time. We know that over half of people who have a cancer diagnosis would like to spend their last weeks and days of their life at home and working with community pharmacies the team ensures that they can.”
The team have led a number of novel community based palliative care initiatives including the development of a palliative care resource folder for community pharmacies. This resource, which is freely available to all community pharmacy staff across the whole of the UK, was recently endorsed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, a huge accolade for the team from their professional body.
Community Pharmacist, Amanda Yung, said: “The palliative care resource folder has been an invaluable source of specialist palliative care information for me and my staff.
“I have been able to provide enhanced support and advice to patients and their families as well as source specialist palliative care medication without delay.”
Paul Adams, Head of Primary care and Community Services in North West Glasgow, added: “To facilitate patients’ wishes to spend their final days at home rather than in hospital, the Macmillan Pharmacy Service has provided community staff with improved resources to help support and manage a patient’s illness at home and possibly lower the need for a hospital admission.”
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