Linda has been a long time advocate of pharmacists working within primary care. Linda splits her time between teaching postgraduate pharmacists at the University of Otago and delivering a clinical pharmacotherapy service to two high needs practices in the Wellington region.
The objective of the role is to:
identify and resolve drug therapy problems and optimise pharmacotherapy for individuals, thereby reducing drug related morbidity and mortality, and optimising medicines related health outcomes.
Linda plays a full and active role as a member of the practice team and attends both practices clinical team meetings and wider multidisciplinary team meetings. She feels truly accepted as a team member and contributed to the Tivaevae quilt project at Porirua Union Community Health Services (PUCHS) and has been asked to participate in practice strategic planning sessions at both PUCHS and Newtown Union Health Services (NUHS).
In addition to participating in practice and MDT meetings tasks include:
Reviewing repeat prescription requests
Inviting people to clinic for optimisation of medications
Running joint clinics with nurses
Auditing practice data and leading improvement strategy’s related to identified problems
Participating in condition-specific clinics e.g. diabetes
From experience, Linda says that the most effective way to make a difference to people’s lives is to have the CAPP fully integrated into the practice team. In order to achieve this, the CAPP should be working in the practice at least two days per week.
A person-centred pharmacotherapy service has huge benefits for people in terms of improving understanding of medications and possible side effects and interactions, reducing cost through better prescribing, and advocating for individuals medication changes to the wider clinical team.