It is interesting to hear that nearly 400,000 flu vaccines have been given by community pharmacy in England and a variety of other vaccines in areas of England such as London with an extended role.
What does that tell me?
We have a lot of pharmacists out there that are trained and capable of giving injections in their pharmacy.
Does this make your commissioning and service provision mind spin on the opportunities that this gives? If community pharmacists can give injections and supervise self-injection then can we not support some commissioned services that are under strain or even decommission some services?
The mind explodes with possibilities.
- All those patients that have vitamin B12 injections – just pop into the pharmacy.
- Training GLP1 or insulin injections – join up specialist diabetes nurses and community pharmacists to work together to manage injections.
- Would you like your depot antipsychotic managed in the pharmacy when you pick up your prescription?
- How about your anti-TNF for RA – either pick it up from the community pharmacy or get them to inject it for you. What was it that Alistair Burt said about click and collect – how about click and inject?
- Want your long acting reversible contraceptive inserted within the pharmacy
- Could you have your monthly injection for prostate cancer given in the pharmacy that dispenses the prescription?
Are people fed up going to their GP practice, sick of waiting in for the district nurse, inconvenienced by waiting for a delivery? Is it all inefficient?
Do patients want even more choice in places they go to get their injections?
Are the days of community nurses driving 20 miles to give an injection in the past?
Is homecare, that is really cold chain delivery, going to be overtaken by convenient collection/delivery/administration in your high street pharmacy?
Are we going to think about simplicity and patient convenience and use community pharmacy appropriately?
Are we going to better support self-injecting of medicines? And if you really don’t want to do it yourself, offer an inexpensive alternative?
It is a difficult question. I suspect that few people will see the opportunities that having thousands of healthcare professionals on the local high street who have been trained to give some injections. Perhaps some will and change the paradigm for patients.
Maybe the next time you pick up a prescription for an injectable medicine your pharmacist will say to you ‘would you like me to administer that while you are here’ – fantastic!