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Title: A mixed methods study investigating the community pharmacist's role in palliative care
Author: Miller, Elizabeth J.
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2017
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There is little research investigating factors that facilitate or inhibit timely access to palliative care medicines from community pharmacies. Though palliative care is recognised within the UK government's strategy and community pharmacists are considered to have a role it is uncertain to what extent this aim is incorporated into local practice. This thesis uses mixed methods to investigate the time taken to access palliative care medication from five community pharmacies in one area of England. The effect of prescription errors, stock availability and other factors is examined. Furthermore, semi-structured interviews with five community pharmacists and eleven other healthcare professionals explore medication access and the community pharmacist's role in palliative care using the Framework method. Stock availability led to delays with one in five customers going to more than one pharmacy to get urgently required palliative care medications. Legal prescription errors were more common on computer generated prescriptions but did not lead to delays. Three subthemes were identified in accessing palliative care medicines: environment and resources; communication and collaboration; skills and knowledge. The community pharmacist's role in palliative care was limited due to reluctance from other healthcare professionals to share information, poor access to patient records and lack of integration into the primary healthcare team. This study highlights implications for professionals, commissioners and providers to improve services for those trying to access palliative medication. Community pharmacies remain a largely untapped resource for supporting patients, relatives and carers towards the end of life in both cancer and other advanced life-limiting diseases.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Community pharmacist ; Pharmacy services ; Palliative care ; End of life ; Out of hours ; Urgent care ; Anticipatory medicines ; Drugs ; Pharmaceutical services ; Prescriptions