What happens when pharmacist independent prescribers lead on medicine management in older people’s care homes: a qualitative study

Birt, L., Dalgarno, L. , Poland, F., Wright, D. and Bond, C. (2023) What happens when pharmacist independent prescribers lead on medicine management in older people’s care homes: a qualitative study. BMJ Open, 13(10), e068678. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-068678) (PMID:37907299) (PMCID:PMC10619113)

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Objective: Older people in care homes frequently experience polypharmacy, increasing the likelihood of medicine-related burden. Pharmacists working within multidisciplinary primary care teams are ideally placed to lead on medication reviews. A randomised controlled trial placed pharmacists, with independent prescribing rights (PIPs), into older people care homes. In the intervention service, PIPs worked with general practitioners (GPs) and care home staff for 6 months, to optimise medicine management at individual resident and care home level. PIP activity included stopping medicines that were no longer needed or where potential harms outweighed benefits. This analysis of qualitative data examines health and social care stakeholders’ perceptions of how the service impacted on care home medicine procedures and resident well-being. Design: Pragmatic research design with secondary analysis of interviews. Setting: Primary care pharmacist intervention in older people care homes in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Participants: Recruited from intervention arm of the trial: PIPs (n=14), GPs (n=8), care home managers (n=9) and care home staff (n=6). Results: There were resonances between different participant groups about potential benefits to care home residents of a medicine service provided by PIPs. There were small differences in perceptions about changes related to communication between professionals. Results are reported through three themes (1) ‘It’s a natural fit’—pharmacists undertaking medication review in care homes fitted within multidisciplinary care; (2) ‘The resident is cared for’—there were subjective improvements in residents’ well-being; (3) ‘Moving from “firefighting” to effective systems’—there was evidence of changes to care home medicine procedures. Conclusion: This study suggests that pharmacist independent prescribers in primary care working within the multidisciplinary team can manage care home residents’ medicines leading to subjective improvements in residents’ well-being and medicine management procedures. Care home staff appreciated contact with a dedicated person in the GP practice.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This is a summary of independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme (Grant Reference Number RP-PG-0613-20007).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dalgarno, Mrs Lindsay
Authors: Birt, L., Dalgarno, L., Poland, F., Wright, D., and Bond, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:BMJ Open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2044-6055
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023
First Published:First published in BMJ Open 13(1):e068678
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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