Submitting Articles

Articles on good practice in medicines optimisation are welcome. The Association would like to use the news page to share information from around the country. If you have a particular article you would like to share please email admin@associationforprescribers.org.uk

Accessing Medicines During the Last Year of Life: An Invitation to Participate in a National Survey

Patient access to medicines during the last year of life is critical for control of symptoms.  Yet there is evidence that access is often experienced by patients as difficult, complex and demanding.

As part of a National Institute for Health Research funded study, we are conducting a brief, on-line survey of health care professionals, to capture views on providing patients and carers with access to palliative care medicines, and on what facilitates and prevents good practice.

Your views will contribute to a national picture of current practice which will inform the next phases of our research, and ultimately, help shape national policy and practice enabling patients to have good access to medicines.  Further details about the research can be found on the NIHR website: https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hsdr/165223/#/

We are asking registered healthcare professionals within England, who provide palliative and end-of-life care to adults in the community, to complete the on-line survey https://leeds.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/actmed-survey which will take approximately 10-15 minutes.  Please complete it if you are a:

  • Palliative care clinical nurse specialist who is community based
  • Community nurse (RN qualified)
  • Primary care pharmacist employed by GP practice(s)
  • Community pharmacist working in community pharmacy

We look forward to receiving your completed questionnaire by Friday 31st August.

For further details about the survey please read the Participant Information Sheet http://medhealth.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/1496/actmed_participant_information_sheet

If you have any queries about the research, or would like to be added to the list for dissemination of study results, please contact Dr Natasha Campling via email at actmed@soton.ac.uk

Thank you in advance for your help with this important study.

Professor Sue Latter

Chief Investigator

 

Annual Conference 2018

Places are still available at our 20th Annual Conference. We have finalised the programme and have some fantastic speakers, the theme of our conference is safe prescribing.

Nurses being able to prescribe sooner could benefit patient care

June 2018

From September 2020, the Nursing and Midwifery Council expects all education programmes, including those relating to prescribing, to operate under new standards.

This will mean nurses can begin to train for community practitioner nurse prescribing qualifications (through a V150 programme) immediately after receiving their PIN – instead of waiting two years.

This change looks set to increase the number of nurse prescribers and has the potential to improve patient care. (Though for this to really take off the formulary used by community practitioner nurse prescribers needs looking at as it is over 20 years old and requires updating.)

To read more on this article written by our very own commitee member Penny Franklin’s prescribing opinion piece:-

https://www.nursingtimes.net/opinion/expert-opinion/nurses-being-able-to-prescribe-sooner-could-benefit-patient-care/7024360.article

Journal of Advanced Nursing

UK Sepsis Trust

I am delighted to announce that Dr Ron Daniels BEM, CEO- UK Sepsis Trust will be presenting at the AFP conference. Get your Early Bird tickets now!

Major campaign launched to celebrate 70 years of the NHS

England’s Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Prof Jane Cummings, has announced a major new campaign to improve recruitment and retention as part of plans to recognise the health service’s 70th anniversary this year.

The campaign will highlight the significant contribution of nurses and midwives over the past 70 years, along with identifying the wide range of career opportunities in the NHS today.

It is hoped this will improve the rate of recruitment and level of retention in the NHS, which has been suffering from recent staff shortages.

‘The shape of the UK’s future workforce is changing and people today will have job choices in areas that may as yet not even exist. But what will remain constant is the need in our society for extraordinary people who want to care for others,’ said Prof Cummings.

‘We want to highlight through this new campaign that nursing and midwifery provides the opportunity not only for an outstanding career, but the chance to have a profound and direct impact on the lives of thousands and thousands of people in a way that simply can’t be matched.’

Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), responded to the news: ‘Nursing is a modern and dynamic profession with caring for people at its heart. This campaign is a welcome focus on promoting nursing and we would be delighted to work with the CNO on this in England.

‘We must do anything we can do to attract people to the profession and shake off outdated perceptions of nursing. However, we have a huge task on our hands to recruit and retain the next generation of nurses when the current workforce is shrinking.’

The campaign, which will be run through a collaboration of organisations, is just one part of a number of measures announced by Prof Cummings.

Others measures include the establishment of 165 ‘nursing and midwifery ambassadors’ to boost the image of the profession, protecting the title of ‘nurse’ to ensure only registered nurses can use the title, and launching a 70-day national campaign to get elderly people back into their preferred environment so they are more comfortable and reduce the burden on the NHS.

More Diabetes undergoing a ‘paradigm shift’ as 5 types of the disease identified

A group of Scandinavian scientists have said diabetes can be separated into five different diseases, with specific treatments for each one possible.

The researchers from Sweden and Finland claim they have unearthed a far more complex picture of the disease and that we should give up the idea diabetes can be divided into just two types.

Leif Groop, professor of diabetes at Lund University and author of the study, claimed the results could herald a ‘paradigm shift’ in our understanding of the disease and said it could be the ‘first step towards personalised treatment’.

In the UK there are almost 3.7 million people living with diabetes, with a further 1 million estimated to be undiagnosed. Under current classifications, 90% of these have Type 2 diabetes.

The research, published in the Lancet, and which conducted a detailed analysis of 14,775 patients, argued the disease could be stratified into five distinct categories:

  • Severe autoimmune diabetes (SAID) – This is basically the same as Type 1 diabetes, where one’s immune system is unable to produce insulin and which effects people when they are young.
  • Severe insulin-deficient diabetes (SIDD) – Very similar to SAID, except their immune system was not to blame.
  • Severe insulin-resistant diabetes (SIRD) – For this class of patient, their pancreas was still producing insulin but their bodies were not responding to it. They were generally overweight.
  • Mild obesity-related diabetes (MOD) – This was mainly observed in people who were very overweight, although metabolically more health than those with SIRD.
  • And, mild age-related diabetes (MARD) – This form was linked to older age and tended to be milder and less harmful for patients.

Surprisingly, most specialists already acknowledged the shortcomings of type 1/type 2 split, said Dr Victoria Salem of Imperial College London.

Annual Conference 2018

We are very busy organising this Year’s conference. This will be our 20th Annual Conference and will be held on the 20th of November 2018 at the RCN, 20 Cavendish Square London. Keep an eye out for early bird registration.

 

General practice ‘in decline’ as satisfaction drops to record lows

Public satisfaction with general practice has fallen to its lowest level since records began, according to the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey.

The annual survey, which started in 1983, revealed that satisfaction dropped by seven points last year to 65%. Meaning, that for the first time, general practice is not seen as the best NHS service. In 2009 its satisfactory rating was 80%.

The survey – of 3004 people in England, Scotland and Wales – was conducted by the National Centre for Social Research and was analysed by the think tanks Nuffield Trust and the King’s Fund. Reasons for the drop in satisfaction include staff shortages, waiting times, funding concerns and government reforms.

Ruth Robertson, fellow at the King’s Fund, said: ‘The public used to put GPs on a pedestal. But since 2009, when there was an 80% satisfaction rating, it has been steadily declining.

‘It shows the impact of the huge pressure on GPs and the public is responding to that.’

Speaking to the BBC, Prof John Appleby of the Nuffield Trust, said: ‘These results should make the government sit up and take notice.

‘If they want to see satisfaction rise, my suggestion is they should think seriously now about more money for healthcare over the next few years.’

Ms Robertson said the results risked general practice’s reputation as the ‘jewel in the crown of the NHS’ and that ‘the data sends out an unmistakable message that general practice is in decline’.