Community pharmacists can play a hugely important role in managing the medication routine of Parkinson’s in primary care, writes Suma Surendranath, professional engagement and education manager at Parkinson’s UK.
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Case study: Parkinson’s on the frontline
Being a community pharmacist is a highly varied job.
Although you may only have one or two Parkinson’s patients in your community pharmacy, accurate medication management is vital to maintaining their condition so this role is fundamental.
With the right level of education and awareness, the community pharmacist role can be a hugely positive addition to the lives of people with Parkinson’s.
Unlike many other conditions, Parkinson’s patients often require multiple and frequent doses of their medication throughout the day at specific times.
Often, patients are elderly, which can also impact on their ability to manage medication.
For optimum Parkinson’s care it is essential community pharmacists are included in the wider clinical pathway of support for the patient.
Parkinson’s medications are usually only altered by a specialist.
When this happens it is imperative this change is communicated not only to the GP but also to the community pharmacist to ensure the change is made quickly and the patient is given the support they need.
These are issues that can easily be addressed – as long as information about medication routines and any changes are communicated quickly and effectively.
Community pharmacists need to be aware of the individual patient’s needs when it comes to Parkinson’s management.
This is why having relevant Parkinson’s specific education is key.
As community pharmacists we need to get an insight into the issues, which face our patients. For this to happen we need to make sure that the opportunities are there for community pharmacists to learn more so every single patient with Parkinson’s gets the right level of support.
For more information please download Parkinson’s UK’s ‘Key information for community pharmacists’ www.parkinsons.org.uk/pharmacistbooklet
Stephanie Bancroft is a community pharmacist in North West London
Stay tuned for the final instalment of our Parkinson’s feature tomorrow.