Lead Pharmacist – Northern Ireland Macmillan Palliative Care Pharmacy Service Improvement Project, Mater Hospital, Belfast
Peter Armstrong, based in Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, is the Lead Pharmacist for the Northern Ireland Macmillan Palliative Care Pharmacy Service Improvement Project. This initiative aims to improve existing palliative pharmacy services and develop new ways of working that will make a significant contribution to patients with palliative and end of life care needs. Peter has a long background in the provision of hospital, hospice and community-based palliative care. He co-edits the Palliative Adult Network Guidelines book, which is adopted as the preferred guidelines for general palliative care in many areas of the United Kingdom, and has published research on analgesia in palliative care.
‘Regional palliative care network’
The definition of palliative care aligns itself closely with the ethos of person-centred care. Using a person-centred approach and their considerable knowledge and skills, pharmacists are well placed to optimise care for palliative patients and their families. In addition to good symptom control, patients want support, reduced burden for their families and well-coordinated and integrated care.
The Macmillan Palliative Care Pharmacy Service Improvement Project involves looking at innovative ways pharmacists can deliver person-centred care to palliative patients. It has four core objectives, which are being developed by the project team, based around improving access to palliative medicines, facilitating hospital discharges to ensure continuity of care, anticipatory prescribing at the end of life and education and training.