What is a Clinical Pharmacist? And what do Clinical Pharmacists do? We asked Jacqui Kent from the Chalfonts PCN about her role as a Senior Clinical Pharmacist.

How long have you been working in healthcare?

I’ve worked in healthcare for over 20 years. My career has included Hospital and Community Pharmacy and more recently working as a Care Homes Pharmacist at Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group. This recent role involved working closely with colleagues in social care and the county council to support patients in care homes across Buckinghamshire, especially where patients had been identified as vulnerable and taking multiple medications.

I’ve now joined The Chalfont’s PCN as a Senior Clinical Pharmacist

Why did you choose this role in the practice?

There has been an increasing focus on identifying inappropriate ‘polypharmacy’ (multiple medicines use) in older people and this new role provides an opportunity to help with this problem

I will be running clinics such as ‘medicines optimisation clinics’ and ‘falls clinics’ where I will be supporting patients to get the most out of their medicines and listening to what matters to them regarding their medication.

This role also provides an opportunity to ensure safe prescribing systems within each GP Practice and supports GP’s to identify and patients where there may be medicines safety concerns.

What is a typical day like in your role? What specific things do you help patients with?

A typical day will involve meeting patients in their own home, care home or in a clinic and reviewing their medicines, listening to their concerns, talking to the family. I can then check that all prescribed medicines are still needed, prescribed at a safe dose and that they are getting benefit from their medicines.

I do joint visits with our Community Consultant Geriatricians (from the local hospital) who can support patients with complex health needs in their own home or in a care home; this provide care closer to patients.

Do you have other responsibilities in the practice? If so, what are they?

I’m focusing on our older population that live in care homes for now, but over time the role will evolve to the fit the needs of the primary care network. I’m looking forward to working the multi-disciplinary team of the primary care network. So best ask me that in a year or so…

What is your favourite thing about your job?

My favourite part of the job is helping patients and making them feel better. For example, if someone feels as though they are taking too many tablets, they maybe feel tired and/or confused. If you review their medicines and can safely stop or change some of the medicines and this results in them feeling better, it is very rewarding.

What do you wish people knew about you/your role?

It’s important to know that there will soon be access to a clinical pharmacist in all GP practices and their role is to help improve patient outcomes and safety, ensure better access to healthcare and help manage general practice workload.

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