Walsall Healthcare’s Pharmacy Department plays an integral part in the trust providing safe, effective, evidence based care to patients. And we’re celebrating their contribution today on World Pharmacist Day.
Pharmacists have long performed the vital and traditional role of dispensing and supplying medicines to wards and clinical areas and adapted to implement remote dispensing of prescriptions issued through the virtual clinics.
One of the newer services people may not be aware of is pharmacists’ work in Community Services and Admission Prevention. Here they utilise their skillset at the interface, closing medicines management loops between primary and secondary care for the benefit of the more vulnerable in our community.
Lead Pharmacist – Community Services, Shveta Suri, said: “Since my team’s launch in November 2019, we have worked collaboratively with local GP surgeries to drive down re-admission rates due to Acute Kidney Injury through on-site and virtual post-discharge clinics.
“This service has proven its impact in driving better discharge quality through audit and additional patient follow up and education. GP and Primary Care Network feedback is positive, and the support in Walsall is there to expand the service to more GP surgeries and increase our evidence base.”
Another element of the service is the pharmacy support provided to the Rapid Response team for the Community Division. The service’s association with renal, cardiovascular services and elderly care has driven a training opportunity for two pharmacists to upskill themselves with an independent prescribing qualification, enabling the future of the service elements to include enactment of recommendations. This element of pharmacy services is well-placed to be embedded as part of the wider Walsall Together programme.
Team leader Suki Tagger said: “We do a lot more behind the scenes. People usually think of pharmacists such as the ones you see on the high street but it is different in a hospital. We deal with complex medications and give advice to prescribers, nursing staff and patients every day. In the heart of covid we all were involved in new ways of working and so were able to free up nurses’ time and help improve services.”
Lead Pharmacist – Cancer services, Rose Atkins said: “I enjoy my job. It makes me really happy knowing I can make a difference to Chemotherapy patients through my service. I also have a keen interest in oncology and strongly believe research matters.”
Director of Pharmacy, Gary Fletcher added: “World Pharmacist Day is celebrated every year on 25 September in recognition of the valuable contribution the profession of pharmacy makes to society as the safe custodian of the nation’s medicines. Whilst the role of the pharmacist is recognised across the world, it must not be forgotten that behind every good pharmacist is an equally good pharmacy technician and pharmacy assistant. Today is a celebration of all who contribute to the delivery of pharmaceutical services.”