In April 2015 a primary care, clinical pharmacist was employed by the North and West operational unit, NHS Highland to set up and analyse the delivery of a three-phase remote clinical pharmacy service using telehealth technologies to Lochaber GP practices. This would create a model of pharmaceutical care that is sustainable for the unit, with a view to solving recruitment difficulties and enabling fast responses to urgent care demands in remote locations.
1. Set up remote medication review clinics to care home residents
2. Set up remote medication review clinics to GP practice patients
3. Explore development and spread
The remote and rural nature of NHS Highland leads to difficulties in accessing health services. This results in inequity in the provision of pharmaceutical care, recruitment and retention difficulties, problems in maintaining a sustainable workforce, and shortfalls in service provision. The higher than national, and increasing, percentage of elderly population will also draw on health resources; this population group is the largest user of health services. Against this backdrop of geographic and demographic challenges, new and innovative solutions for the delivery of pharmaceutical care are needed. Literature shows that telehealth can benefit healthcare provision; especially in remote and rural areas, pharmacists are often identified to engage in telehealth technologies, where telehealth is used by pharmacists it is often found to be successful, however pharmacy is often overlooked. The findings from this service will inform how telehealth technologies can be used in primary care clinical pharmacy and therefore contribute to original knowledge.
This abstract was presented at the Innovative Solutions in Remote Healthcare - 'Rethinking Remote' conference, 23-24 May 2016, Inverness, Scotland.