Archive 2011

Regulator Holds Seminar on Nursing Home Patients

June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011: The PSI, the pharmacy regulator, is today jointly hosting a seminar for pharmacists on the care of patients in nursing homes.

Speaking as the seminar opened in Dublin this morning, the CEO of the PSI, Dr Ambrose McLoughlin, said patients in residential care should receive the same level of care and professional pharmacy input from pharmacists as patients would if they were attending a pharmacy in person.  He said pharmacists must carry out therapeutic reviews of prescribed medicines for such patients, as well as liaising with prescribers on ensuring appropriate prescribing.  Pharmacists should also give such patients counselling which necessitates personally attending on patients in residential care as well as providing expertise on medicines management to the rest of a patient’s care team in a residential care setting, Dr Mc Loughlin said.

“Pharmacists, and in particular superintendent and supervising pharmacists, have key roles and responsibilities in ensuring that patients living in nursing homes or other residential facilities are provided with safe and quality care.  Pharmacists also have a key role in protecting vulnerable patients and in ensuring that the rights of each patient are being respected, including their dignity, autonomy and entitlements.  The legal and professional requirements relating to the sale and supply of medicinal products apply in all circumstances, irrespective of whether the patient is living in his/her own home or in a residential care setting.”

The PSI requires pharmacies to have a structured set of policies and procedures in place to govern the effective management of all services offered and provided to patients living in residential care settings.  “A partnership model should be established with the management and staff of the residential unit to ensure that procedures are comprehensive, appropriate and robust.  It is vital that pharmacists work within multidisciplinary teams in line with HIQA standards to meet the needs of vulnerable patients with complex medication needs to ensure quality of care.”

The PSI has issued a notice to the pharmacy profession highlighting the regulator’s requirements of them around:

  • The legal basis of supply of prescription-only medicines
  • Review of prescribed medicine therapy
  • Patient counselling, including the necessity of the pharmacist to personally attend on patients in order to fully carry out these and other obligations
  • Safe delivery of medicines
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Medication monitoring and review, in conjunction with the other health professionals involved in the care of these patients 

Today’s seminar was jointly hosted by the PSI and the Irish Centre for Continuing Pharmaceutical Education (ICCPE).  Under a joint taskforce, they provide educational meetings for pharmacists to assist understanding of the implementation of the Pharmacy Act 2007 and to clarify and discuss the legal and professional obligations of pharmacists.

The keynote presentation at the seminar was given by Professor Carmel M. Hughes from Queen’s University Belfast. Professor Hughes outlined an evidence-based approach to managing the medicines needs of older people and patients in residential care, addressing topics such as the role of the pharmacist in identifying and addressing inappropriate prescribing trends; impact of legislation; how pharmacists can operate within the multidisciplinary care setting, as well as the future challenges posed by an ageing population.  Presentations were also given by the PSI and Ms Kate Mulvenna, the Head of Pharmacy Function in HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Service in respect of the regulatory and related aspects of the provision of pharmacy services to patients in nursing home settings.

The seminar is the latest in a sequence of initiatives by the PSI which has issued a practice notice to pharmacists reminding them of their responsibilities to patients who are living in nursing homes and other residential care settings.


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