Background Pressures to open pharmacy services 7 days a week, with no financial input for these extra resources, has knock on effects that may dilute accessibility to clinical pharmacists in specialist areas.
Aims The aim of this survey was to assess opinions of the users of the current pharmacy services to PICU and the planned extended hours provision.
Method An e-survey was sent to PIC Consultants, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, and Senior Nursing Staff following a six month period of increased clinical pharmacists time allocation to PIC. Free-text area was added to each multiple choice question.
Results Twenty-four staff responded, 14 prescribers and 10 senior nurses
Presence of PICU trained clinical pharmacist on morning ward rounds was considered essential by 19 (79%) respondents and desirable by 4 (17%). Attendance on the afternoon round was deemed essential by 14 (59%) and desirable by 8 (33%) of respondents.
Comments on the benefits of pharmacists on ward rounds included:
“Enabling a second professional review of the patient overall—it prevents forced direction from the consultant and the pharmacists are empowered to ask us to reconsider. Very useful to have this safety and reality check.”
“Essential for the guidance of drug usage and drug chart review which improves safety, benefit of advice for use with specialist patients, best cost approach, multiple benefits.”
Roles expected as routine from the clinical pharmacist included patient safety (100%), managing parenteral nutrition (80%), advice on intravenous therapy e.g. compatibility (100%), education of the multidisciplinary team (96%), management of long term medicines e.g. sedation withdrawal (83%), and therapeutic drug monitoring control (83%).
Only 6 respondents felt the PICU patient would benefit from extending access to dispensary only over weekends, 11 felt that there was no benefit, and 6 respondent unsure.
Provision of the pharmacy on call service which involves both supply and clinical advice, was felt sufficient to the requirements of the PICU patient by less than a third of repondents,56% feeling the current service insufficient. Comments on the on call service included.
“difficult to get experienced advice on weekends”
“need access to pic pharmacists officially.”
“we may direct queries to the on call pharmacy staff but 9 times out of 10 theses queries are redirected to our PICU pharmacists. Our questions are answered at any time of the weekend”
Ninety one percent answered positively to the final question asked about extending the current clinical pharmacy service from 5 to 7 days per week. Comments included.
“PICU is a 24 hr, 7 day a week service…how we can provide adequate care to children if this valuable service is only provided 5 days a week.”
Conclusion Pharmacy is a valued service on PICU, where the service users support increased access and attendance on certain ward rounds by specifically PICU trained pharmacist.
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