Providing pharmacy services to care homes in Northern Ireland: a survey of community pharmacists’ views
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Objective: This study sought to explore the views of community pharmacists as to their present and potential role in providing care to the residents of nursing and residential home in Northern Ireland.
Method: A structured questionnaire was developed and mailed to all community pharmacists in Northern Ireland (n = 508) on 2 occasions.
Results: A response rate of 50% was achieved. Over 40% of responding pharmacists (42.1%) were currently providing medication-related services to care homes for the elderly and 57.9% were not. Of those who were providing services, 50 to 80% were already providing advice to care homes regarding record-keeping, compliance devices, storage and administration of medicines and the use of more appropriate formulations. More than 75% of pharmacists who were not providing services to care homes for the elderly supported all services detailed in a checklist provided on the questionnaire. For pharmacists who were providing services to care homes, 89% agreed that they required access to an up-to-date medical history of care home residents. Over 60% of pharmacists who worked with care homes had experienced difficulties when ordering prescriptions from general practice surgeries. Just over 75% of all respondents stated that they wanted to be more involved in providing pharmaceutical services to care homes to the elderly.
Conclusion: Community pharmacists expressed enthusiasm for provision of services to care home residents. On-going developments in community pharmacy practice in the UK may facilitate the development of this role and may guide policy development for long-term care in other countries.
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