Care Homes Independent Pharmacist Prescribing Study (CHIPPS)

This South Norfolk CCG sponsored University of East Anglia study is a 5-year, NIHR-funded research programme, which proposes that a suitable model for appropriate medicines management in care homes is a Pharmacist Independent Prescriber (PIP), who would assume responsibility for repeat prescriptions’ monitoring and authorising and overall management of medicines in the care home.

Experiences from a non‐randomised feasibility study. The aim of this study was to inform the definitive Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT). The results show that PIPS are valued by GPs, care home staff and residents but there are difficulties meeting care home staff and GPs due to service pressures, and the Pharmaceutical Care Plans are time consuming to complete. An abstract from oral presentation is published and can be accessed through International Journal of Pharmacy Practice .

GP views on the potential role for pharmacist independent prescribers (PIPs) within care homes. This study aimed to determine GPs’ views on the utility and acceptability of PIPs. Focus groups and interviews involving 28 GPs were carried out in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Whilst GPs were largely supportive of PIPs assuming responsibility for repeat prescription management, there were concerns regarding the initiation of medication, and perceived implications for GP workload. An article was published in International Journal of Pharmacy Practice.

Development of a core outcome set for effectiveness trials aimed at optimising prescribing in older adults in care homes. Prescribing medicines for older adults in care homes is known to be sub-optimal. The aim of this study was to develop a core outcome set (COS), a list of outcomes which should be measured and reported, as a minimum, for all effectiveness trials involving optimising prescribing in care homes. Widespread adoption of this COS will facilitate evidence synthesis between trials. The full open access publication can be accessed from Trials.

Not just a ‘tick box exercise’ – meaningful public involvement in research. A long standing Public and Patient Involvement in Research (PPIRes) member Kate Massey gave her account on being a lay member on the management group of CHIPPS Programme and how the Public Involvement (PI) has been regarded as an integral element of the CHIPPS programme, where PI members have had ‘an effective equal partnership…, felt empowered and valued’ by the study team in an article free to read in International Journal of Pharmacy Practice .

Tele-First: telephone triage as an alternative to face-to-face contact in general practice

The aim of this study was to evaluate a ‘telephone first’ approach where patients wanting to see their GP were asked to speak to them on the phone before being given an appointment. 147 practices adopting this approach were compared with 10% random samples of other GPs in England in GP Patient Survey scores and secondary care utilisation. The study involved practice manager survey in ‘telephone first’ practices, analysis of practice data and patient surveys conducted in 20 practices using the ‘telephone first’ approach, interviews with 43 patients and 49 primary care staff. 150 participants from 4 practices in CRN Eastern took part in the study. The telephone first approach showed that many problems can be dealt with a GP on the phone. The new telephone first approach resulted in more phone calls, fewer face to face consultations, and, on average, more time spent consulting. The approach does not suit all patients or practices and is not a solution for appointment demand. There was wide variation between individual practices, including large increases and large decreases in workload after adoption of the telephone first approach. There was no evidence that the telephone first approach would reduce costs of secondary care. Access to BMJ online full publication here.