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Delegates discuss reducing problematic polypharmacy

Posted: 27th November 2019

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS welcomed delegates to their Reducing Problematic Pharmacy event in Sheffield on Wednesday 20 November.

Over 80 delegates came together for the launch of a quality improvement project to improve the health of people with mild or moderate frailty in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

This project will focus on piloting systematic medication reviews for people with polypharmacy – taking several medicines at a time for one or more different conditions.

Keynote speakers included our Director of Transformation and Improvement, Tony Jamieson, our Patient and Public Engagement Lead Graham Prestwich and Lelly Oboh, Consultant Pharmacist in Care of Older People, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Lelly is a champion of innovative patient centred care medicines optimisation models with extended roles for clinical pharmacists and technicians within community integrated care teams.

The talks on the day were very insightful and brought home the importance of medication reviews for people with frailty incorporating shared decision making. The team shared key themes around polypharmacy and shared decision making on Twitter with the hashtag #Polypharmacy.

At the event we launched our new patient information leaflet designed to communicate the importance of medication reviews and the benefits.

One attendee said they had “learnt more about the crucial role of the patient in the shared decision-making process and how important it is to ask patients what their goals are before looking at their medication. I will go back to my desk and rewrite my patient invitation letters”.

A further event will take place in March 2020 to close the project, at which point we expect several hundred medication reviews to have taken place with resulting reductions in unnecessary prescribing and improvements in patient experience.