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Helping patients get the most benefit from their medicines

We used the Me and My Medicines campaign to help patients raise concerns and use their medicines more effectively.

Background
We worked with NHS Greater Preston and NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCGs to give patients a greater understanding of their medicines. We used resources from the Me and My Medicines campaign developed in Leeds. The campaign includes The Medicines Communication Charter and encourages patients and their carers to ask questions about their medicines to help them get the most benefit.

Action
One GP practice was selected as a pilot site for the Me and My Medicines clinics. Our practice-based medicines optimisation technicians created an EMIS web search to identify patients aged between 65-80 taking three to seven therapies.

Using the campaign resources, they conducted non-clinical medication reviews during 30-minute appointments. Each patient was encouraged to ask questions about their medicines or raise any concerns. They were asked to bring their medicines in to the appointment.

The technicians provided an overview of the clinics at a medicines coordinator GP practices training session.

After successfully running and reviewing two pilot clinics, a further nine GP practices were selected.

Impact
In the first seven months 257 patients with a wide range of comorbidities were seen in the Me and My Medicines clinics. The technicians gave inhaler counselling to 23 and realigned 52 medicine quantities.

There were four high level quality interventions (for example, stopping duplication of medication), 146 medium level (for example, correcting variation to licensed doses) and 532 low level (for example, appliance maintenance and reminder of blood pressure check).

Patient feedback during and at the end of consultations, and in follow-up conversations, was positive. Patients’ relatives and GP practice staff also gave positive feedback.

We are continuing to roll this programme out to other practices.

It’s good to talk to you, you’ve given me advice on things I didn’t know about.
Patient

It’s really helpful just to be able to ask. It’s been very useful.
Patient

My husband had been reluctant to attend, but returned home reassured and very happy.
Patient’s spouse

Thanks very much for this, and thanks for your help and hard work, it is much appreciated.
Practice manager on receipt of clinic summary