LONG TERM CONDITIONS AND MENTAL HEALTH: AN AUDIT OF LOCAL DATA
Keywords:Long term conditions, Mental illness, Community pharmacists, Mental health and memory screening
Objective: Studies have shown that mental health is affected by poor physical health, with people living in the deprived area are the most affected. Community Pharmacists potentially have a new role in supporting people with mental illness and dementia to manage their medications. The aim of this local audit was to compare the local population to the national and global population, to inform the development and provision of local pharmacy mental health screening services, to support patients diagnosed with long-term conditions.
Methods: This project was designed as an audit of anonymised local data, to inform the development of services offered by community pharmacies to improve adherence to therapy amongst patients diagnosed with long-term conditions in the Black Country, UK. It forms part of a larger study granted ethical approval by the Health Research Authority in 2018. It was carried out against the background of the Covid-19 epidemic. A total of 652 patients pharmacy records were reviewed between March and April 2020. No patient identifiers were included in the reviewed data.
Results: This means that the results of this analysis might not be applicable to the entire local population outside the 31-90 y of age range.
Conclusion: It is was demonstrated during COVID-19 that pharmacists are well-positioned as easily accessible health care facilities to support patients, especially when the other NHS facilities are stretched or closed. Community pharmacies are in a position to offer large-scale screening programs such as self-completed anxiety, depression and cognitive function screening surveys and refer to general practitioners for further investigations. It is also recommended that the New Medicines Service include mental health disorder patients prescribed pharmacological therapy and to allow the pharmacists appropriate access to medical records to facilitate safe, integrated and effective patient care.
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