Preventer inhalers (inhaled corticosteroids) are a common medication for asthma, and people get the full benefit of the medication by taking their prescribed doses correctly. We know many patients struggle to take enough doses effectvely, which impacts their ability to manage the condition.
Could pharmacists hold the key to helping patients take medicines effectively and in the right doses?
Our latest BITE – a postcard “need to know” summary of our research – presents the findings of our review of the evidence on whether pharmacists involved in asthma care could help people take their preventer inhaler as prescribed, therefore giving them the full benefit of their medication.
New knowledge generated by our research impacts commissioning and funding decisions on welfare advice
Our work to investigate the impact of locating welfare advisers in GP surgeries is bearing fruit as the new knowledge and evidence we have generated is influencing commissioning decisions for these services across London and beyond.
We know that a significant amount of General Practitioners workload is generated by patients approaching them with non-clinical issues such as debt, housing and immigration.
While these concerns undoubtedly impact health and wellbeing, doctors are not necessarily the best professionals to assist. Haringey Council trialled a scheme to locate welfare advice, and welfare advisers in GP surgeries to deal with these issues.
We evaluated the impact of this advice (provided by Citizen’s Advice Bureau staff) on both GP workloads and on the health, wellbeing and use of services by the patients affected.
Our evidence has been used to support the following decisions –
Haringey: our evidence was used to support retention of all except one primary care co-located welfare advice service in and to provide an additional more intensive service at a mental health hospital (St Ann’s Hospital);
Camden: although the CCG decided to cease funding for GP outreach two GP practices have used the study findings to support ongoing funding for services at their practices (including an application for Big Lottery funding)
Deryshire; Citizens Advice services in Derbyshire have requested study findings to support a business case for ongoing funding of GP outreach in the region
Sussex: our study has been used as a basis to develop an evaluation framework in Sussex