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Research Paper Open Access
As part of a baseline clinical governance assessment, each pharmacy in Northumberland was asked to record prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) interventions in a one-week period of their choosing between January and March 2002. Twenty-one pharmacies returned a total of 191 intervention forms. Sixty-four documented potential changes to OTC treatments and 81 documented potential changes to prescribed treatments, with 46 relating to prescription clariÃ Â½ cation or requests foradvice.Interventions were reviewed by two of theauthors and classiÃ Â½ ed according to the type andlevel of impact on patient care.The majority of the prescription interventionsrelated to safety (64%) and most were classiÃ Â½ ed aseither signiÃ Â½ cant or very signiÃ Â½ cant (90%). Fiftypercent of the OTC interventions related to safetyand 45% related to quality of life for the patient.Seventy-seven percent were either signiÃ Â½ cant orvery signiÃ Â½ cant.The level of contact between pharmacists andgeneral practitioners (GPs) or other prescribers wasassessed and in many cases (49/55, 89%) thereviewers considered that the pharmacist couldhave made changes to treatment without the needto contact the prescriber Ã Â½ rst, as is standard practicein hospital pharmacy. If regulations were changedto permit pharmacists to make amendments toprescriptions, and to accept more responsibilityfor patients’ treatments, much GP and pharmacisttime could be saved.
Innovative primary care, Primary care medicines, Advanced concepts in primary care