Three teams from NHS Ayrshire and Arran have been short-listed for the Scottish Pharmacist Awards 2023.

The pre-operative services pharmacy team were short-listed for hospital pharmacy team of the year.

The pharmacy pre-operative assessment team has undergone a change recently to include a clinical pharmacy technician within the service.

The team has put significant work into developing the technician role, trying to find out which most benefits the wider pre-operative assessment team and patients.

It’s said this improves patient care; supports a multi-disciplinary team approach to the pre-operative management of patients; minimises risk; makes the best of medication and provides education to patients on using their medicines just before and after operations.

Also nominated for the hospital pharmacy team of the year award was the team at Irvine’s Woodland View Hospital for the work which has been piloted and developed around the safe monitoring and prescribing of lithium.

This involved an automated alerting tool being developed in partnership with the electronic prescribing team and mental health pharmacy team which identifies patients at risk of lithium toxicity; and provides other useful information to support the patient’s review, as well as being able to see a summary of the patient’s current lithium dose that they are prescribed in primary care. 

The team then contact the patient to discuss their recent blood results and lithium level and check the patients’ overall mental health and monitor for any potential adverse effects. It also lets the patient discuss any concerns they have about their medication.

Patients are finding this new approach to care invaluable.

Meanwhile, the primary care and community pharmacy team was nominated for an award for commitment to health and wellbeing.

The team was put forward for its work around pharmacist-led antidepressant and mood review clinics.

This work was initially piloted in one GP practice and involved the pharmacist having dedicated clinic time to review patients’ antidepressant treatment, either face-to-face or through a  phone consultation.

The pharmacist would complete a mood review with the patient and then discuss their current medication, any adverse effects being experienced and also expected duration of treatment.

The pharmacist would often, as a result of the consultation, make adjustments to the patient’s medication.

They were also able to review the patient’s other medication  and provide advice and talk about potential referrals.

The project has been so successful that it is now being rolled out to other GP practices.