Medicines safety is never far from the mind of a pharmacist, but during this year’s Ask Your Pharmacist Week (November 5-12), we want to encourage patients to think about it too. The theme ‘Let’s talk medicines safety’ is about explaining to patients the risks associated with using medicines inappropriately and encouraging them to talk to the pharmacy team about safe use.
We know that some patients harbour doubts about their medicines, but feel uncomfortable raising them with their doctor or pharmacist. Others think the risks associated with common medicines are exaggerated and could be putting themselves in danger by ignoring professional advice.
In February, the DHSC published an evidence review, which showed that over 200 million errors occur at some point in the medication process in England in one year (across prescribing, dispensing, administering, monitoring and use).
The report identified one of the contributing factors to be sub-optimal communication between patients and healthcare professionals. In particular, more needs to be done to promote joint decisionmaking and ‘healthy challenge’ – with patients and carers playing a more active role in their medication management and encouraged to raise any concerns about their medication.
That’s why during Ask Your Pharmacist (AYP) Week we will be encouraging patients to:
Taking part in AYPW can provide evidence of your commitment to patient safety. It gives you a platform to increase appropriate uptake of the NHS medicines advice services available in your pharmacy and will help reinforce the message that community pharmacists are accessible and approachable medicines experts. For more information about AYP Week, visit npa.co.uk/ayp2018