MORE THAN 7% GP PRACTICES UNDER THREAT
McCloys refit for future
very positive relationships that have developed within our own Northern ICP team,” Stephen continues.
Ms Watts was interested in the formation of Pharmacy Professional and Representative Bodies organisation which has recently been formed to take a lead on three of the 15 key actions of the refreshed pharmacy strategy, ‘Making it Better, Pharmacy in the Community’ which brings together the pharmacy bodies to co-ordinate resources in order to implement three key actions:
1. Change in working practices. 2. Communicating value of community pharmacy.
3. Legislative changes.
Valerie Watts, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board with Antrim/Ballymena ICP Chair & Pharmacist lead, Stephen Slaine and Marcus McCracken, McCloys.
GP practices in trouble could be rescued from collapse by a new team in Northern Ireland.
The working group — set up by BMA Northern Ireland GPs committee — will look for practices at risk of collapse and find ways to support them, with the Health and Social Care Board.
BMA NI GPC chair Tom Black said, “We have already seen a number of practice collapses in Northern Ireland and estimate that we may experience approximately six practice collapses this year, increasing to about 20 [practices] next year.
“This represents a potential of 7.5% of all practices in Northern Ireland in the next 18 months. [The committee] has therefore set up a rescue package team to look at how we can identify struggling practices early and how these practices can be supported.”
GP practices are reporting particular problems with: • Recruiting locum doctors to cover sickness, holidays and maternity leave. • Increasing pressure, as work moves from secondary to primary care under the Transforming Your Care plan.
A Health and Social Care Board spokesperson said health officials were happy to work with the rescue package team to ensure GP practices are maintained.
“The board looks forward to an initial meeting with the team in the coming weeks,” she added.
FOLLOWING A MAJOR REFIT AT HIS PHARMACY IN KILREA, PHARMACIST AND ICP CHAIR FOR ANTRIM & BALLYMENA STEPHEN SLAINE RECENTLY WELCOMED A VISIT BY HSCB CEO VALERIE WATTS.
Ms Watts was interested to hear how McCloys dispensary has been remodelled to ensure that the pharmacy can continue to improve its service delivery to the Kilrea community whilst at the same time complementing the heritage of the business and the town centre.
Stephen took the opportunity to discuss with Valerie the community pharmacy contribution to Integrated Care Partnerships and PACT as well as developments in community planning with the advent of the new super councils.
Government strategies such as Making It Better and Medicines Optimisation and how community and primary care pharmacy are evolving were among the topics discussed.
“The refit had to complement the heritage of the business within a market town and make it fit for the future,” Stephen told us.
George McCloy bought the business from McIlroys chemists in 1947, his daughter Anne took over from him and Stephen purchased the business in 2002.
“Anne and her brother Kenneth had extended dispensary in 1990 into their family home. Now, 25 years later we were remodelling the dispensary once again,” he continues.
“We were conscious of the Kilrea economic development plan when scheduling the work. When we took out McCloys old shop front and plaster, we decided to return the building to the original Ballycastle black stone when the building was constructed in the late 1800's.
“From discussing the economic development plan for Kilrea we discussed community planning and the
The PPRB is chaired by Ms Julie Greenfield of The Professional Forum and comprises representatives from CPNI, NPA, PDA and the UCA in addition to Cathy Harrison and Fidelma Magee from DHSSPS.
Also discussed was the new Medicines Optimisation Strategy as Stephen outlined how it complements the aims and objectives of ICP's.
“When Donaldson referred to Pharmacy in his report as one of two areas to focus on to speed up TYC, you could substitute 'medicines optimisation' for pharmacy. We talked about the importance of relationships and establishing those relationships.”
Stephen gave an example of the very positive outcomes from the Hospital Discharge Clinical Study supported by the ABPI and QUB and the impact on subsequent ED attendances.
Pharmacist Marcus McCracken demonstrated how McCloys are changing their working practices though the recent refit to increase capacity and enable the team to deliver the future strategies for community pharmacy within their own community.
GP out-of-hours Pharmacy Service
THE SOUTHERN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE TRUST IS INVITING THOSE WHO HAVE USED THE GP OUT OF HOURS PHARMACY SERVICE TO SHARE THEIR VIEWS AS PLANNING BEGINS ON FUTURE ROLL-OUT.
Last year the Southern Trust service had 100,763 contacts. A Pharmacist Prescriber was introduced for a trial period to help improve the service for the increasing numbers of patients.
Dr Alan Evans, Clinical Lead for GP Out-of-Hours says, “We are
committed to treating all of our patients as quickly and safely as possible and are continually looking for ways to improve the service. We now have a range of additional clinical staff to support our small number of dedicated GPs, including a Nurse Triage team who initially assess patients, Nurse Practitioners who treat a range of conditions and from February this year have been piloting a Pharmacy service.
“By offering this range of professionals we are able to meet the different
needs and demands of our patients. The pharmacist prescriber works on weekends and Bank Holidays when we experience higher demand and we are now keen to gather feedback from those patients who have used this service.”
Those who have contacted GP Out-of- Hours who were called back by a pharmacist are being asked to complete a short survey for views on future roll-out of the service.
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