Too many patents having the wrong inhaler technique: more often than not, it’s not their fault as the person training them initially is only approximately 10% likely to know the correct technique themselves. This is the most frustrating aspect as it’s not difficult to learn and teach.
The medication use review (MUR) service currently running within community pharmacy in NI is not fit for purpose in my view. It is not appropriately thought out and certainly not patient focused. In many instances, it seems that pharmacists are meeting targets, as opposed to targeting patients. There is no cohesion between the reviews pharmacists carry out and multidisciplinary working with their GP/Practice nurse counterparts. I tried to address this by developing my own review tool which won a Medical and a Pharmaceutical Award and is now the basis of reviews in many community pharmacy.
There needs to be a robust review service within practices that is universal, in that, everyone should be able to receive the same type of review no matter their background or locality. Good work is being done in many areas but is not being replicated in other areas and this makes me very disappointed. Many excuses are given but I haven’t heard anything that clearly should prevent improvements in their service provision.
As a pharmacist, I am very passionate that the right person (proper assessment), gets the right medicine (drug and device), for the right reason (correct diagnosis), the right way (correct technique), at the right time (dosing). I feel many HCP are not engaged enough to target each of these attributes to improve respiratory management of their patients. All too often assumptions are made and the path of least resistance taken when dealing with patients. We must at every opportunity reassess and educate and reflect with the patients all these key concepts. I see this as everyone’s responsibility and from a pharmacist point of view, this should be the minimum standard we should expect to provide.
Unfortunately, people are still dying of asthma and it’s incredibly sad that although we know many of the reasons for deaths we are not making any inroads to preventing them.