One pharmacy in Rochdale and another in Heywood are among ten Lloyds pharmacies across Greater Manchester to pilot an innovative new service offering additional support to people with their mental health. It has been designed by LloydsPharmacy with the assistance of Dr Hayley Gorton, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice at the University of Huddersfield and funded by the National Health Institute for Health Research, Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (NIHR GM PSTRC) which is a partnership between The University of Manchester and Salford Royal.
LloydsPharmacy on Whitworth Road, Rochdale and LloydsPharmacy on Argyle Parade, Heywood are running the pilot until April. The service enables pharmacists to provide personalised support to people who have been newly prescribed a medicine for depression or anxiety, or those who have experienced a recent change to their prescription.
Central to the programme is the ability for patients to lead the direction of support they receive. During the consultations they set their own goals and objectives and the pharmacist supports them in these. The goals can be anything, from wanting to spend more time outside to taking up a new hobby.
This service is open to patients who pick up their prescription, if appropriate, from the participating pharmacies. The pharmacist or pharmacy team member will speak to the patient if they think they are eligible for the service. Patients do not need to book the consultation, the first discussion will usually coincide with collection of the prescription. The pharmacist and patient will then discuss how they want to plan for subsequent consultations.
Speaking about the local pilots, Dr Keith Pearson, Head of Medicines Optimisation, Heywood Middleton and Rochdale CCG said;
“Pharmacists represent our most readily accessible healthcare professional group – we can walk in to consult with them on every high street. Community pharmacists are the most visited healthcare providers in England and 1.6 million people visit one every day. This represents a significant opportunity in reaching patients and for these important pilots, in the treatment of mental health conditions. We welcomed the opportunity to have these pilots in our area because we could see the potential for real impact.”
During an initial consultation, a pharmacist will talk through the medication with the patient, including what to expect from taking the medication. Together, they will also discuss what the patient wants to get out of the service. If they have any further questions or concerns it will be ensured they know who to contact at the pharmacy.
After the initial consultation, there is another meeting seven to 14 days later, then a follow-up every time the patient picks up a prescription, for the first three months of treatment. It doesn’t have to be a face to face consultation; it is up to the patient.