The World Health Organisation has highlighted the irrational use of medicines as a major problem worldwide. It estimates that more than half of all medicines are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately, and that half of all patients fail to take them correctly.
What’s happening in Wessex?
In 2018, Wessex AHSN hosted its first series of Action Learning Sets (based on work by Yorkshire and Humber AHSN) aimed at helping GPs to understand the complex issues surrounding stopping inappropriate medicines safely. More specifically, topics such as the risks of polypharmacy for our ageing population, cognitive barriers to stopping medicines safely, shared decision-making and how it can help are covered during the ALS. In time, the Active Learning Sets seek to also help PCNs deliver the Medicines Optimisation elements of the new GP QOF contract.
Each ALS is split up into three sessions which typically run over two months with facilitators from the region such as local geriatricians and NICE associates. Delegates are required to attend all three sessions and complete homework in-between. ALS sessions are advertised locally and delegates are encouraged to attend according to their local geography. If you are interested in finding out more or, have attended an event recently, please contact a member of the WAHSN team directly.
In conjunction with the Centre for Implementation Science and the University of Southampton, Wessex AHSN and Health Education England – South are evaluating our ALS with a view to rolling out this methodology across England. In 2022 WAHSN/HEE will be delivering ALS offerings in the South.
We will be running three further Cohorts over the coming months, please have a look at the links below for dates and registration details;
Polypharmacy Prescribing podcasts
Similar issues come up time and time again in relation to polypharmacy and stopping medicines in the older person. Listen to Clare Howard (Pharmacist and Clinical Lead for Medicines Optimisation with Wessex AHSN and the AHSN Network) and Robin Fakrell (Consultant Geriatrician at the Royal United Hospital NHS FT and Associate Director Aging Well and Frailty, Bath) discuss the common issues and how prescribers might tackle them differently in these podcasts below: