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New funding delivers pharmacist into Queen Street Medical Centre

COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN today announced Commonwealth funding to support Queen Street Medical Centre in Moruya integrate a non-dispensing pharmacist as part of their care team, with the aim of providing medication-related advice to patients.

Dianne Kitcher, CEO of South Eastern NSW PHN, said this funding is an extension of the Patient Centred Medical Home (PCMH) innovation project, which saw a consultant pharmacist successfully integrated within a general practice during a trial in 2018.

“All local health care providers were invited to submit an expression of interest to participate in this round of funding, and we congratulate the four successful applicants, including Queen Street Medical Centre,” said Ms Kitcher.

Queen Street Medical Centre will engage a pharmacist one day per week to work closely with their doctors across their medical practices in Moruya and Broulee.

“They will hold ‘Better medicines’ clinics with their patients to improve their use of medicines, with a particular focus on patients who are already relying on clinics to support their conditions,” said Ms Kitcher.

“The pharmacist will also train the doctors and nursing staff on the quality use of medicines as well as supporting hospital discharge summaries. Finally, they will work closely with residential aged care facilities in the area to identify and prevent a range of medication-related problems, ultimately translating into improved health outcomes and reduced hospitalisations.”

Ms Kitcher said integrating pharmacists into the general practice setting will help strengthen their capacity to offer more comprehensive care.

”Patients will benefit by having an improved understanding of the medicines they are taking, why they are taking them, and how best to take them, and doctors will benefit by gaining access to accurate and up-to-date information about their patients’ medications, including data about compliance and possible interactions.

“This investment also has the potential to result in significant savings to the health system,”she said.

Ms Kitcher added that the PHN will continue to support general practices not involved in this part of the project through various quality activities aimed at supporting vulnerable patients, reducing potentially preventable hospitalisations, improving population health, reducing health care costs and fostering greater satisfaction of health providers.

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government through the PHN Program.

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