Robert Street Surgery has a practice population of approximately 8,500 – the demographics of which mean that substance dependency is an issue which they encounter.
In the practice, the GPs see many patients who have moved into the area dependent on opioids, benzodiazipines and Gabapentoids. Once identified as needing help, they have a consultation to review their condition and set out a plan. Patients are also identified from acute prescription requests, requests for reprints, ‘lost medication’ queries and frequent holiday supply requests.
As a key part of the practice’s course of action, Liz monitors and reviews the patients and their prescriptions; the intervals and frequency are patient-dependent, but the individuals are also free to seek help between review dates. The team also work closely with the Hwyel Dda pain team on certain higher risk, more complex patients; attaining expert advice and support.
As the practice pharmacist, Liz is a vital asset in being accessible to the patient and having more time to review and discuss any issues with them. Local pharmacies experiencing script issues and concerns regarding these patients also know that they can contact Liz directly to resolve these rather then add to the workload of the GPs.