A new pilot scheme will assess whether greater community pharmacy involvement in diabetes care helps improve the overall health of patients.
The objective of the diabetes care pilot, which will run in two community pharmacies in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, is to find out if closer links between secondary care and community pharmacy help meet national targets for care of patients with diabetes, including regular foot and eye checks, which are included in the overhauled pharmacy quality scheme.
Patients attending these pharmacies will also be offered lifestyle advice, medicines adherence support and help with using blood glucose meters.
The pilot was announced by Mahendra Patel, a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English Pharmacy Board, at a conference held by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin on 28 September 2019.
Under the scheme, patients who currently attend a diabetes clinic in secondary care will be referred, with their consent, to a community pharmacy for support with management of their health.
Patel and Parag Singhal, a consultant diabetologist and stakeholder in the development of the RPS’s diabetes policy, which was published on 10 July 2019, worked on developing the pilot. Patel said the scheme is a way to implement some of the recommendations including the full integration of pharmacists
“Around 60% of diabetes patients are non-adherent or partially adherent to medicines”, Singhal told The Pharmaceutical Journal.
“Opportunistic advice from pharmacists, who know the importance of taking medicines regularly, could improve adherence and reduce complications.
“Through this pilot, we hope that patients will get continued reinforcement of the importance of medicines adherence, alongside lifestyle advice, to improve glycaemic control — leading to better lives. It’s about trying to convert the RPS’s diabetes policy into practical experience.
The pilot will begin on 15 October 2019.