New guidance on how to use the Walk in my Shoes toolkit has been launched to improve relationships between community pharmacies and GP practices.
The scheme sets out visit exchanges, where ‘both teams experience life in primary care from each other’s perspectives’.
Zainab Al-Kharsan, service development pharmacist at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), said: ‘It enables them to work together to find solutions to local problems.
‘Each visit prompted many positive changes, such as improving patient experience, reducing the likelihood of errors and reducing medicines waste.’
The Medway School of Pharmacy reported that the initiative led to improvements in the prescribing-dispensing process and better coordination of services, such as the electronic prescribing system (EPS), among others.
First launched by Lewisham CCG in 2015, as part of the Medicine Optimisation Education Training (MOET) programme, the project has helped reduce gaps in medicine prescribing and improving patient safety.
Sanjay Patel, pharmacist at New Cross pharmacy, said: ‘Some of the actions of the projects have resulted in doctors putting the total doses of certain things on the prescriptions, so we’re able to notice, before we see the patient, whether a dose has changed or not and what the total intended dose is supposed to be.
‘So if we need to query that dose, we can do that without the patient even necessarily being aware of it so their journey is a bit more seamless.’
With between five and 8% of hospital admissions caused by medication misuse, tackling medicine-related complications is one of NHS England priorities.