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Long Term Health Conditions

The effective management of long term health conditions (LTHC) can greatly improve a patient’s health and wellbeing. Examples of these conditions include epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, diabetes asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In addition to taking appropriate medication LTHC patients are often asked to make lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation or alcohol reduction. But at the same time they may be struggling with psychological issues caused by the impact of their diagnosis.

So in addition to understanding the clinical management of patients and the guidelines that are in place for these it is important to consider the patient as a whole and understand their attitudes to their condition and its management.  

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Key points for community pharmacy

  • Signpost patients to appropriate support organisations.
  • Know when to call for medical assistance in the event of a heart attack and how to deliver basic resuscitation (CPR) for patients who have collapsed. Details of suitable courses may be found at St Andrews Ambulance Brigade
  • Advise on use of inhaler devices for asthma and COPD patients

 Some pharmacies may

  • Offer health screening such as blood pressure or glucose monitoring