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Cohens Chemist - Chapeltown

Community pharmacists were known in the past as chemists. Like GPs, community pharmacists are part of the NHS family. Every day about 1.6 million people visit a pharmacy in England. Community pharmacies are situated in high street locations, in neighbourhood centres, in supermarkets and in the heart of the most deprived communities. Many are open long hours when other health care professionals are unavailable. There are several different types and sizes of community pharmacies, ranging from the large chains with shops on every High Street or in edge of town supermarkets, to small individually owned pharmacies in small communities, in the suburbs and often in deprived areas or rural settings. The traditional role of the community pharmacist as the healthcare professional who dispenses prescriptions written by doctors has changed. In recent years community pharmacists have been developing clinical services in addition to the traditional dispensing role to allow better integration and team working with the rest of the NHS.

19 August 2015
Yorkshire and Humber
Local Alliances:
Leeds Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

As a pharmacy team we see patients and carers on a regular basis and we are perfectly situated to give advice and identify if patients or family are struggling. We can provide a friendly environment with patient staff who can explain things and write things down to help. As a pharmacy we appreciate that patients with dementia can get frustrated and that it can be difficult we will help them to obtain their medicines on time and to establish a routine.

As we have contact with many patients regularly we can also help to identify patients who may have dementia so they are able to get support and treatment. We can raise awareness of dementia in the community through asking people to talk to the pharmacist about dementia.

Staff can refer patients to other services and support groups which are in the area such as the dementia friendly café. We can reassure patients who may be having a bad day with their symptoms and call family if needed. By having a clean and clear pharmacy which maintains a consistent layout will help patients feel like they are in a familiar environment. We will also keep giving good customer service by smiling and being welcoming to all patients. 

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

  • We have two members of staff who have not been with us very long and I feel that they may not have experienced patients who have dementia before.
  •  Within the team some members of staff may need additional training to recognise dementia and to understand how to be dementia friendly.
  • We have quite a small pharmacy and it is difficult to keep a clear layout.
  • Patients who may not have a regular routine in place with their medication may just turn up having ran out of medication after having forgotten to order it.
  • When we are busy we must not miss signs of patients who may need our help or advice.
  •  Sometimes with dementia there is a stigma and many members of the community may not understand dementia and not know what it is. 

Member website


2. Actions

  • Improve our Premises

    • We will have an initial meeting of how to maintain a clear layout in the pharmacy and we will ensure it is agreed with all staff.
    • We will try not to make changes to the shop layout and to try keep stock topped up for patients so they do not have the inconvenience of not being able to obtain what they need.
    • We will keep the shop and pharmacy clean and tidy to minimise risk to patients.
    • We will remind patients who wish to talk about their medicines or speak to someone that we have a private consultation room.
    • We will promote that our pharmacy is dementia-friendly so that others in the community can ask us about dementia. 
  • Staff and Team Development

    • We will have a meeting with all staff to discuss dementia and we can answer any questions staff may have.
    • We will have a training session where I pass on information about how we can be dementia friendly.
    • We can share experiences of knowing people with dementia so we can learn from others in the pharmacy (whether it is from patients or friends/family).
    • Appoint a dementia champion who looks out for ways we can improve how we can be dementia-friendly. 
  • Optimising Medicines and Patient Support

    • Identify the medicines which are used in dementia to staff to help them identify patients in our community who have dementia who may require extra help, patience or support.
    • Use NMS and MURs as well as regular reviews at each dispensing to the fullest with patients who have dementia to see how they are getting on and managing the way they take their medicines. Always listen to what the patients want.
    • Try to engage patients in their own care as much as possible and come to an agreement of what the best plan is. Don't take control of everything if the patient can manage and is happy with how things are going.
    • Ask patients if they are happy for a family member or carer to be a part of their care and invite them into MURs. 
    Planning, Implementation
  • Offer support to carers and the wider community

    • Offer advice and information to carers when required and keep them up to date with any changes to treatment or new guidelines.
    •  Find out the different services in the area which may be useful to patients/carers or family such as the dementia cafe and support groups.
    • Refer patients to our local dementia alliance which is the Older Peoples Forum and the Alzheimer's society which is in Leeds.