Community pharmacies are a vital part of our national health system and with the highly accessible national network of pharmacies, they are ideally placed to provide assistance to patient’s with a mental illness. Community pharmacists are highly trusted members in the community, with the average consumer visiting a community pharmacy at least 14 times a year. Consumers prone to complex chronic conditions including severe and persistent mental health conditions are even more likely to visit their community pharmacy.
A number of community pharmacy services are funded by the Australian Government under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. Consumers, carers and their families affected by a mental illness may benefit from the following professional services:
- Primary Health Care Services: Community Pharmacies are a centre for well-being and disease prevention, offering screening, prevention and wellness checks. Checks may include blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, body measurements, lung function, bone density, and are also able to deal with lifestyle risk factors such as smoking, diet, sleep and exercise.
- MedsCheck: MedsCheck is free service which provides an in-pharmacy review of a patient’s medicines. It focuses on education and self-management, aiming to identify problems, help patients learn about their medications and educate them on how to best store their medicines.
- Diabetes MedsCheck: A Diabetes MedsCheck is a free service and is the same as a MedsCheck with a focus on a patient’s type 2 diabetes medicines management, monitoring devices, education and self-management.
- Staged Supply services: pharmacists supply medicines to patients in periodic instalments of less than the total required or prescribed quantity at agreed intervals. A staged supply service is aimed at improving the safety and efficacy of medicine use in patients.
- Dose Administration Aid (DAA): also known as ‘blister packs’ and ‘webster packs’. This service packs patients medication into daily doses to ensure the safe and effective management of medication and also improves adherence. A DAA can minimise the risk of errors for both the patient and carers assisting with the administration of medicines.
- Home Medicines Review (HMR): this review aims to enhance the quality use of medicines and reduce adverse medicines events. It is undertaken through a comprehensive medication review conducted by an accredited pharmacist in the patient’s home.