A new scheme to encourage pharmacies across Greater Manchester to become more dementia-friendly was launched in Bolton this week by the Greater Manchester Pharmacy Local Professional Network and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.
You can read more about the scheme via the GMHSC Partnership website link (right).
But there is a handy guide which sets out the various ways in which local pharmacies and their teams can give greater support to people with dementia. These include:
• Ensuring that pharmacy staff have undertaken dementia awareness training and that they have signed up to become Dementia Friends
• Making sure that there is a quiet area available for discussion
• Helping a person with dementia choose between medicines and/or complete repeat prescription request slips
• Making sure other systems are in place for checking proof of identify if a person with dementia cannot remember their address
• Checking a patient’s change with them
• Putting specific times for taking medicines on medicines labels (eg. breakfast time, lunchtime) that fit in with how the patient takes their medicine
• Providing reminder charts to help people with dementia take their medication at the right time
• Setting calendar reminders to prompt patients to order their prescriptions
• Thinking about how to speak with patients who make repeated requests for items already purchased
• Offering a delivery service for prescriptions and encouraging delivery drivers to undertake Dementia Friends information sessions
• Routinely collecting contact details of relatives/carers, in case of queries
• Making sure that the pharmacy has leaflets and information about dementia and local support readily available
Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “Improving the lives of people living with dementia is a priority for all local authorities in Greater Manchester, and in Bolton we’ve made some great progress in helping to create a dementia friendly community in Horwich and encouraging businesses and individuals to pledge their support to our borough-wide Dementia Action Alliance.
“We work very closely with local pharmacies, via the Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC), to deliver a number of health campaigns and healthy living services so we recognise that they are ideally placed at the heart of the local community and are a vital link to local residents. The LPC has shown significant commitment to enhancing the lives of people living with dementia by signing up to the Bolton Dementia Action Alliance and has already taken practical steps to help their customers with the condition.
“This excellent work has been recognised at a GM level and this new scheme to increase the number of dementia friendly pharmacies across the region will build on the progress we’ve made in Bolton and help share the message that we all need to work together to ensure that people living with dementia are supported to continue to live well.”
LPC Chief Officer, Louise Gatley, added: “As part of our Dementia Action Alliance pledge we want to make sure that every pharmacy in Bolton has at least one member of staff who is trained as a dementia friend and we have dementia friendly signposting and information available for our customers. A lot of this work already takes place in our pharmacies, but we need to ensure that everyone is aware of it and they can enter a pharmacy in the knowledge that staff have everything they need to support them.
“Being a part of the dementia friendly pharmacy framework will take this work further and enable us to make the pharmacy itself dementia friendly, by considering the layout of the pharmacy, what information is given, and ensuring that all staff are thinking about what support they can give to customers with dementia. We are very committed to making this happen and we want Bolton to be the first to succeed and we want to do it well.”