Respiratory Medicine Team of the YearBMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2941 (Published 01 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2941
- Adrian O’Dowd, freelance journalist
- 1Margate, UK
Community Pharmacy Future COPD case finding and support service
Making greater use of visits to the pharmacy by patients with respiratory problems to help boost their health and quality of life is central to the approach taken by four pharmacy companies. This service was launched in 2012 in the Wirral, Merseyside, after Boots UK, Lloydspharmacy, Rowlands Pharmacy, and the Co-operative Pharmacy, created the Community Pharmacy Future project team.
The service, run within 34 community pharmacies, helps patients when they are visiting to collect their prescriptions. It seeks to raise awareness of risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), identify those potentially at risk, and make referrals to general practitioners for diagnosis.
Patients with known COPD are offered lifestyle advice, help with smoking cessation, and help to reduce exacerbations through improved medicines adherence as well as support to manage their condition better and improve their quality of life. This includes helping patients to recognise when their symptoms are worsening and enabling them to manage this.
Patients are also advised on their medicines, good inhaler technique, and problems such as breathing and sleeping and offered help to reduce risk factors.
Independent evaluation of the service six months after launch showed the various interventions led to improvements in patients’ quality of life and adherence to medicines and reductions in the use of NHS resources.
Jonathan Buisson, healthcare policy manager for Alliance Boots, speaking on behalf of the project team, says: “As a service, it worked and did what we aimed to do. It’s making every contact count so when people come in, these patients are getting a higher level of intervention, directed, tailored, and using validating tools such as quality of life scores and …