Entitled ‘supporting patients with dementia and in palliative care’ this session at the RPS Conference showcased five research projects.
Whilst the content and findings of each study would be enough to write about for the next week, there were some continuing themes regarding the care of dementia patients and those patients on end-of-life care.
Phillipa Roe, a Pre-reg student at Yeovil District Hospital Somerset, bravely started proceedings by presenting an evaluation of pharmacy services in specialist palliative care units (SPCUs). She concluded that pharmacists have a very limited role in SPCUs — in fact two units reported not even to have a pharmacy contract.
Those findings were mirrored in other studies that found there is a lot of scope for pharmacists to become more specialised — and as a result better used — in the palliative care setting.
Louise Deeks, from the University of Canberra, (and for your next pub quiz: yes, it is the capital of Australia) discussed the problems associated with the inevitable transfer of dementia patients into different care settings. Such problems were also highlighted by Bannin Jansen, from Queen’s University Belfast, who found whilst the majority of dementia patient carers were satisfied with care provided in the primary setting, most were not satisfied with secondary care given. This secondary care setting seems to be where the pharmacist could make a real impact in the future.