Frailty and Chronic Conditions Cluster Pharmacist, South Ceredigion GP Cluster, Wales
Lowri Davies works as part of the innovative Frailty and Chronic Conditions Cluster based in the Teifi Valley, West Wales. The team consists of Frailty Nurses and Frailty Pharmacists and their aim is to provide a holistic frailty review encompassing physical, psychological, social and medication issues within the home environment. Early intervention aims to avoid unnecessary polypharmacy and crisis management and to reduce unplanned Hospital Admissions. Lowri graduated from the Welsh School of Pharmacy with First Class Honours and also completed the Post Graduate Clinical Diploma from Cardiff University with Distinction. Lowri has a background in secondary care working as a Specialist Clinical Pharmacist with an interest in Cardiology, also training as an Independent Prescriber. During her time in secondary care Lowri experienced a variety of clinical specialties, thus enriching her clinical knowledge and expertise.
‘Improving medicines safety in frailty patients’
Frailty is a clinically recognised state of increased vulnerability. It results from ageing and cumulative decline in the body’s physical and psychological reserve. Polypharmacy is common in the older generation with 45% of all medications prescribed in the UK being for patients over 65years old. NICE guidance evidence suggests that polypharmacy is associated with increased risk of unplanned hospital admissions and mortality and also recognises that optimising a person’s medicines can support the management of long term conditions. With this in mind it is paramount that care is taken when prescribing for this population. Regular medication reviews are recommended in order to avoid polypharmacy, ensure that the most appropriate evidence based medications are prescribed and that unnecessary harm is avoided. As pharmacists we are ideally placed to carry out these medication reviews and have a vital and exciting role to play in this field in the future.