Medicines play a key role in the treatment of most mental illnesses. The management of those medicines is of great importance to most mental health service users and also impacts on the daily professional life of many of those involved in caring, be they psychiatrists, nurses, pharmacists or others. The New Ways of Working (NWW) project began with a study of the potential to devolve many of the aspects of the dispensing of medicines within pharmacy departments from pharmacists to pharmacy technicians and then to pharmacy assistants. As this project evolved it became clear that perhaps the greatest impact of pharmacy staff and potential for NWW of medicines management was not just in the dispensary but within teams and wards. As further projects began to identify the potential for pharmacy staff to improve the way medicines are used across the whole spectrum of clinical care, it also became clear that medicines management and pharmacy had for many years been an area of neglect by Mental Health Trusts (MHTs) and for many to achieve safe and effective medicines use, would require significant investment. By the end of the programme a wide range of products associated with medicines management, involving pharmacy, service users, carers and others, had been developed (www.newwaysofworking.org.uk).
How to CiteBranford D. (2009) “New Ways of Working – Pharmacy and Medicines Management”, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice. 6(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/mhldrp.2009.62131