PHARMACISTS and pharmacy technicians have important roles in ensuring people with Parkinson’s achieve the best quality of life through access to the right medication.
There are 127,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, but medication can substantially improve symptoms and remains the primary means of managing it. Without effective medication and appropriate regimens, symptoms can become poorly controlled and people’s health can significantly deteriorate.
However, as Parkinson’s is a progressive condition, these regimens may change over time. Add in the fact that prescribed medication regimens can vary between individuals in the types of preparation, dosages and the time at which they are taken, and you can have very complex medication regimens.
Hospital, community and practice-based pharmacists and technicians are vital in not only ensuring that the right medication is available and accessible, but also in helping people affected by Parkinson’s, and their carers, to understand how their medication works and how to take it effectively.
The UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network understands and appreciates the important role pharmacy professionals have, and can offer you a variety of support to help you deliver the best possible service to people affected by Parkinson’s.
Led by professionals in partnership with the voice of people affected by Parkinson’s, and supported by Parkinson’s UK, the Excellence Network works to unite all health and social care professionals, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, in transforming services to provide the best quality of care.
The Excellence Network offers a range of ways to get involved, such as regional and themed working groups – look out for a medicines management standard for hospitals currently in development by one of these groups.
And amongst the Excellence Network’s suite of educational tools and practical resources, you can access several developed specifically for pharmacy:
- Parkinson’s: Foundation modules for pharmacists — these free, online, interactive modules delivered by Parkinson’s UK will help any pharmacy professional increase their knowledge and understanding of Parkinson’s.
- OPTIMAL Parkinson’s medication guideline and conversion calculator — this guideline and calculator has been created to help non-specialist clinicians maintain control of Parkinson’s symptoms when patients cannot take oral medications until support is available from local specialists.
- Key information for community pharmacists — this booklet is for pharmacists and their teams working in the community. It tells you how you can help someone with Parkinson’s manage their medication so they can take control of their condition
- Key information for hospital pharmacists — this booklet is for hospital pharmacists and suggests ways to improve the management of Parkinson’s medication in hospitals.
Alongside all of this, a monthly e-newsletter allows you to keep up to date on the latest developments and collaboration opportunities, allowing you as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician to make a significant difference to service delivery and the lives of people affected by Parkinson’s.
Sign up here now. We’d love to have you on board.
Clare Worrall-Hill is the Professional Engagement Manager at Parkinson’s UK