Patients whom have called to book a medication review in the last few months may have noticed a difference in the system.
Medication review is essential to ensure safe, effective and appropriate long-term use of prescription medications. Whilst we realise patients need to see us when you are acutely unwell, our team also need to ensure all medications are monitored for safety, check all treatments are working well and stop any medication no longer required or effective. These reviews take many different forms lead by either GP/ Pharmacist/ Nurse. They maybe phone or face to face consults, ‘Florey’ targeted questionnaires or without requiring a discussion if clinician can review all the important results e.g. blood pressure and bloods tests from a patients notes.
The reviews are required at least every 12 months but may be more regular for some conditions. Throughout the pandemic we have strived to continue our important reviews and monitoring. Our team specify an overall regime review date on your record which is used as a trigger to contact you, usually via a text, advising you to arrange monitoring, questionnaires or appointments when they are due if they have not already been done. When you see this date is overdue, we ask patients not to be concerned as we have systems in place for checking reviews due and contacting patients.
Last August we updated our medication review process to try and make it more efficient and make better use of appointments. An audit concluded that 50% of calls where a ‘Medication Review’ with a GP was requested were more appropriately directed.
The new process at North Somerset is that if a patient calls to request a medication review, they contact the patient coordinators and get put on the ‘pink list’. This request will be reviewed and so all required tests are arranged and the most appropriate appointment will be booked. However, if you have a particular concern regarding medication and wish to discuss it with a GP/Pharmacist anyway then please highlight this to the patient coordinator.
It is also very helpful for as many patients as possible to record their own blood pressure. A series of home blood pressure readings is most representative or alternatively we have the self-service blood pressure machines in reception.