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Meet the team

Also:

  • Richard Brown (Avon LPC Chief Officer)
  • Louise George (West of England AHSN -Q application pending)
  • Teddy Baker (West of England AHSN - Q application pending)
  • Mark Gregory (Medicines Optimisation Lead Gloucestershire CCG/West of England AHSN)

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

The COVID-19 pandemic required rapid and unprecedented changes to procedures across the system. Community pharmacy was an important NHS service. Many of the population became vulnerable due to freedom of movement restrictions. Those with pre-existing medical conditions often require a consistent supply of their medications, many of which due to COVID-19, suddenly required their medications and healthcare advice and information to be provided differently to safeguard them. This was achieved by:

  • Collaboration across Primary Care Networks (PCNs) so the patient is seen in the right place at the right time
  • Alignment with the Pharmacy Quality Scheme, agreed as part of the response and recovery from COVID-19 – https://psnc.org.uk/services-commissioning/pharmacy-quality-scheme/
    Supporting GPs to see more seriously unwell and move acute self-limiting conditions to community pharmacy
  • Triaging patients through the pharmacy and escalating to GPs if required
  • Working together to deliver online patient consultations where appropriate

What does your project aim to achieve?

General Practice is frequently a first-point of call for people with acute healthcare needs. Pharmacists demonstrated during COVID-19 they are a valuable first contact for patients.

90% of community pharmacists time is currently spent dispensing medicines. The vision is to free pharmacists so they can spend over 50% of their time consulting with patients; without damaging the ability to accurately and safely dispense medicines in a timely fashion.

Hypothesis:
If pharmacists spend more time consulting with patients, less patients are visiting their GPs and possibly getting quicker input or earlier clinical triage. This aligns with the new five-year pharmacy contract and the aim for patients to see pharmacists first, reducing pressure elsewhere in the NHS system

Proposed Solution:
Remodel the pharmacist’s working day to identify tasks only the pharmacist can undertake. All other colleagues fill in the gaps, freeing up the pharmacist. Quality Improvement (QI) approaches will be central to this solution.

How will the project be delivered?

The Project will be carried out in collaboration between the West of England AHSN and Avon Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC). If successful, the project funding will be used to engage a change management expert to lead and support the LPC and community pharmacy colleagues with processes to support service re-modelling.  The West of England AHSN will provide QI expertise and project management support to the project.  The intention is to engage up to ten community pharmacies to participate in this project and will be delivered through:

  • Frequent inter-organisation project planning and review meetings
  • Face-to-face group meetings (hosted on virtual platforms if the COVID-19 restrictions prevent face-to-face)
  • 121 training in the pharmacy
  • QI methodologies to support pharmacists remodel their working day
  • Online training sessions in QI methodologies
  • Sharing best practice across the pilot sites and PCNs
  • Publication and dissemination of the project findings will be carried out collaboratively between the two organisations.

How is your project going to share learning?

  • The learning from the 10 project pharmacies will be shared and replicated across the Avon LPC geographic footprint (open to all 225 pharmacies) during the year
  • The project will have a dedicated page on the West of England AHSN and Avon LPC website with the intention of sharing multi-media resources for wider adoption and spread i.e. recorded webinars, QI resource templates etc.
  • Learning will be shared through member organisations of West of England AHSNs Medicines Safety Steering Group, covering three STP regions in the West of England.
  • The learning will also be shared, where appropriate, with the National AHSN Medicines Optimisation Network and the South West Regional Pharmacy Network.
  • The project learning could have national implications and shared across pharmacy networks across the county
  • The West of England AHSN host an evidence repository for small research projects; the findings will also be shared on this platform.

How you can contribute

  • • System remodelling expertise and advice
  • • Process reviews
  • • Contributions to add depth to the idea and project proposal,
  • • Ideas for wider dissemination of project lessons learnt

Plan timeline

29 Jan 2021 Identify 10 community pharmacy sites
29 Jan 2021 Recruit/identify project manager for delivery
26 Feb 2021 Develop and deliver QI training for Community Pharmacists
30 Apr 2021 Create process maps for each individual community pharmacy
25 Jun 2021 Shared learning and networking event
31 Jan 2022 Project evaluation completed
31 Jan 2022 Publication of project findings / remodelling guidance

Comments

  1. Hi Ellie,

    Thanks for your message. You've asked for some feedback on the project. And, whilst this is out of scope of what the Health Foundation have asked us to do, I'm happy in a personal capacity (I'm a Q member), to provide some brief feedback. A small point is to make sure that there is a profile picture for each team member; as people consider voting for you, they will need to feel connected to those they're voting for and a picture can help with this. I also wondered if there are front line pharmacists involved in this, since their buy in will be critical (I couldn't tell from the role descriptions of the project team whether this is the case). My last point is that it sounds like you will be re-modelling what a pharmacist's day should look like going forward, and I couldn't see the publication/consultation of this model in the project timeline (perhaps it's implicit and I've just missed it, or perhaps for a later project phase?). In terms of my background, I'm an independent improvement consultant - for the last ten years I've been focussing on Healthcare systems improvement.

    Wishing you well,

    Pete

  2. I wonder whether the Health Innovation Network's Community of Practice on Pharmacy could be a useful collaborator on this. Q member Cleo Butterworth is involved.

    And Q Connector in Wales, Andy Ware, may have insights too. He co-ordinated the Pharmacy in Practice Community of Practice for Wales for 5 years.

    1. Hi Matthew.

      Thank you for your comment and considerations around our project proposal. We know Cleo through the AHSN network so will discuss this further with her, as we know her thoughts will be valuable. We'd also love to hear the thoughts and experiences Andy will have gained while in his role coordinating Pharmacy in Practice Community of Practice, if you're able to put us in touch with him.

      Kind regards and thanks again,

      Ellie and Chris

  3. Hi Ellie,

    Myself and my colleague Emma Adams (Health Transformation Partnership) are supporting the Health Foundation this year by fostering conversations between Q members and encouraging collaboration. We were Exchange applicants last year, so we’re hoping that our experience will help us to help others, as their ideas take shape.

    It's clear your idea has national implications and (particularly given the challenges of training sufficient GPs) this model will be of incredible importance. I've not yet come across other Exchange ideas in this sphere (though I'll keep my eyes open for opportunities to connect you).

    I did note, however, with my Q member hat on, that you are seeking remodelling advice and that your project aims to understand how pharmacists' time is being spent, as part of this process. When you come to the detailed scoping of these aspects, do reach out to me as I can connect you with people/approaches in this sphere.

    Best of luck with your idea,

    Pete

    1. Hi Pete.

      Thank you very much for reaching out and your email..

      If we're successful and selected for the funding, your offer of connecting us to people or who may be able to help us with in-pharmacy service remodeling would be very much appreciated. Our AHSN can see how this project could be impactful to primary care systems and patients accessing services in a diverse range of settings. So, if this bid isn't successful, it may be something we decide to support locally.

      It would be great to hear if you think our current idea could be improved in any way as we segue in to the project proposal phase. Could I ask what your background is please?

      Kind regards and thanks in advance,

      Ellie and Chris

       

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