The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England is calling for pharmacists to be integrated into services providing care for people with mental health conditions to ensure patients receive the right care and help tackle the health inequalities they currently experience.

The RPS today (June 6) launches a new report: No health without mental health: How can pharmacy support people with mental health problems?, which provides recommendations about how pharmacists can be better utilised as part of the multidisciplinary team to support people with mental health problems.

The RPS is calling for:

  • Pharmacists to be commissioned to provide physical health monitoring and management of people with mental health conditions, which requires full access to the patient's record
  • Identify how pharmacists in community settings can be enabled to better support people with mental health problems with their medicines, such as through the inclusion of antidepressants in the new medicine service
  • Every mental health team to have access to a specialist mental health pharmacist, to provide support to the multidisciplinary team across a variety of settings.

RPS England board chair Sandra Gidley said: “It is crucial the Government and the NHS make the most of the pharmacy workforce to better support patients and commission services which integrate pharmacists into care pathways that can better support patients. In every setting pharmacists can make a huge difference to the mental health of their patients.”

Professor David Baldwin, chair of the Psychopharmacology Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, added: “Pharmacists have a pivotal role in mental health care: by examining prescriptions to assure that potential hazards are minimised, by keeping and dispensing medicines in a safe environment, and – increasingly – through providing information and answering questions raised by patients and clinical colleagues.

“Pharmacists can also detect symptoms which suggest someone might be becoming mentally or physically unwell, and can involve other health professionals when concerned about patients.”

 

 

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