Speak to your pharmacist during COVID-19

Care home staff should not be afraid to speak to their pharmacist about residents’ medicines during COVID-19, according to a webinar held by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society/College of Mental Health Pharmacy earlier this week.

Looking at the subject of mental health in care homes during COVID-19, the webinar acknowledges that monitoring residents for changes in their health, or discussing medicines review during COVID-19 is harder when permanent staff may be off work.

In addition, monitoring over video/telephone is much harder than face-to-face support, says pharmacist Helen Whiteside. Tips to improve interventions include finding the best time and a quiet place for staff and residents to take part in the review, and to ensure that residents have their glasses and a working hearing aid, as necessary.

Webinar co-speaker and pharmacist, Nicola Greenhalgh added that the presentation of sudden confusion may indicate an infection. Stiffness, rigidity and tremor may also be a result of their medicines, which should be reviewed.

Giving advice to pharmacists serving care homes, she said that they should be ready to listen to staff and be prepared to justify decisions regarding stopping or continuing medications.

Getting the best out of your pharmacy services is among the topics to be covered in our July/August issue, out in early July. Digital copies are available free to care home providers. To sign up, please email the editor.

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