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Bedfordshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee (BedsLPC)

Bedsfordshire LPC is a statutory body representing all community pharmacies in Bedfordshire and Luton. We discuss pharmacy services with commissioners and advise those wanting to know more about pharmacy locally. A key role is to promote, support and enable pharmacy teams to deliver health, public health and wellbeing services to communities in our locality

31 August 2016
East of England
Local Alliances:
Luton 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?

Bedfordshire LPC represents all community pharmacies across our area and one of our aims is to help and support community pharmacy teams to achieve better use of medicines for their patients.

Community pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professional, with local communities being able access help and information without the need for an appointment. This means we have daily contact with a large number of individuals seeking help and advice on a wide range of health topics, for example in relation to medicines use, independent living aids and preventative healthcare measures.

Although there is no cure for dementia, medicines play a key role and people living with dementia are often taking multiple medications. Community pharmacists and their teams can help to reduce some of the difficulties people experience with taking their medicines and  help to reduce the impact this can have on the health and social care system.

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

Awareness of dementia in community pharmacy teams can be improved.

The challenge is to ensure that all community pharmacy teams fully understand the condition and the treatments available for dementia. Another challenge is to ensure community pharmacy teams are confident and competent to support patients with dementia and their carers.  

There are challenges for community pharmacies delivering clinical pharmacy advice visits in residential care homes as this type of service is not covered by existing pharmacy contractual arrangements. Consideration could be given to funding specific services delivered by community pharmacists in care homes.

Community pharmacists also have a role in the early detection of dementia. Quite often, pharmacists in the community will come across and recognise early signs and symptoms of conditions and diseases. They can then have conversations with the patient’s GP to raise awareness of this. Pharmacists are also in a unique position to offer support, both formal and informal, to carers as they have more frequent contact than any other healthcare professional.

Currently, pharmacists are not commissioned to conduct a dementia assesment for patients showing symtoms of the condition. Pharmacists are ideally placed to provide this review.


2. Actions

  • Review medication for those with a dementia diagnosis

    Ensuring the optimal use of prescribed medicines with proven effectiveness.

  • Support independence

    Ensuring that people are able to remain as independent as possible and are able to take their medicines using a variety of strategies and aids. For example when people experience physical problems when taking their medicines, such as being unable to remove tablets from packaging, experiencing problems when swallowing tablets or difficulties with remembering when to take medicines.

  • Support for carers

    Helping patients, family members and carers manage the behavioural problems associated with the progressive illness safely and appropriately.

  • Provide advocacy

    Advocating for safe and appropriate treatment with medicines for people with dementia, especially those experiencing poly-pharmacy.

  • Review use of antipsychotics

    Being alert to the inappropriate use of antipsychotics in dementia.

  • Support residential care facilities

    Providing advice and training to care homes and their staff.

  • Support for carers

    Helping patients, family members and carers manage the behavioural problems associated with the progressive illness safely and appropriately.