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RPS and Marie Curie consult on end-of-life pharmacy standards

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RPS and Marie Curie consult on end-of-life pharmacy standards

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has started a four-week consultation on draft standards it has developed with the charity Marie Curie covering community pharmacy’s role in palliative and end-of-life care. 

The professional leadership body said the final standards, which are expected to be published next year, will help pharmacies in the UK “continuously improve” the care they provide. The consultation, which closes on December 1, gives community pharmacists, pharmacy organisations, bodies that have a role in palliative and end-of-life care and patients and carers the chance to air their views.

The eight standards include ensuring each staff member understands their role and responsibility for advanced serious or life-limiting illness or end-of-life care and pharmacies having a multidisciplinary working process in place.

Pharmacies are expected to identify and support carers, provide them with information about the use of new and existing medicines and collect and share data on medicines-related issues for individual patients.

During the last days of a patient’s life, pharmacies should also “proactively” manage the supply of medicines, address any issues an individual has taking their medicine and support bereaved people with information or signpost them to grief and bereavement services in the community.

The RPS said there “is no formal accreditation process but a self-assessment and continuous quality improvement approach.” It said the standards were informed by a “thorough review of existing best practice across the UK and internationally” and a professional steering group that contained “community pharmacy experts, experts within the field of palliative care, lay members and healthcare professionals interacting community pharmacy.”

The RPS also said the standards will “align” with the Royal College of General Practitioners and Marie Curie's standards for GP Practices.

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