SISCC Older People workstream advisory group meeting

Written by David Barrowman & John Palfreyman


The SISCC Older People Work-stream advisory group took place in Dundee on Wednesday, 8th of June 2016. This workshop brought together pharmacists, GPs, academics, third sector representatives and members of the public to discuss the work-stream aims and progress.

It provided a forum to exchange knowledge and expertise and discuss how to frame best practice recommendations linked to safer medicines management and the promotion of physical activity in older people.

Below are some observations and reflections on the event from participants:

David Barrowman-Public Representative

This was a very interesting day and very important topics for every generation especially the older generation, Safe Prescribing and Data Driven Quality Improvement in Primary Care 2 (DQIP2), Dr Tobias Dreischulte, and the Promotional of Physical Interventions for Community Dwelling Older Adults, Dr Ania Zubala. Good and interesting presentations from Tobias and Ania to set the scene for the day.

I joined the Medicines Breakout session looking at the challenges and positives of introducing Quality and Safer Prescribing for older patients who are on multiple medications. I joined a group consisting of GPs and Pharmacy representatives from NHS Tayside. From the outset the conversation (brainstorming) highlighted many of the challenges to the processes involved in measuring patient’s medication. As the session progressed more positives were introduced to the poster, giving a better balance of negative to positive thoughts on introducing Quality Safer Prescribing.

We then split into two groups for the last thirty minutes of the session. One of the recommendations was that GP Cluster Groups within Tayside, with assistance from Pharmacy representatives should discuss the way forward to introduce (DQIP2) within practices.
As a Public Representative, I found that the main obstacle of introducing any new process is the way that the NHS and GPs are funded. However there were many positives to the day, for me the important part was that Pharmacy and GPs started a conversation, with good practice and positive thoughts becoming the main focus of the interactions.

Good work from Dr Tobias. There must be a continuation to the conversation for the benefit of patients and for the possible savings to Health Boards through Quality Safe Prescribing of Medications, reducing emergency admissions through outdated practices and processes.

“What would the general public’s response be if they were informed that the Health Service could not introduce a SAFE QUALITY PRESCRIBING INITIATIVE? Or that a SAFE QUALITY PRESCRIBING INITIATIVE was not in place at present?

Thank you for allowing me to be part of this initiative!

John Palfreyman-Public Representative

A stimulating meeting which I attended as both an ‘older person’ and as a person with an interest in the work of SISCC.  Two papers were presented, on ‘prescribing’ and‘physical activity’, and they showed two very different aspects of SISCC. The first paper detailed what I would call an experiment, the second a review of reviews.

As an active cyclist, running a range of projects designed to get people out on bikes, the review grabbed my attention. It is obvious that there is a great deal work going on trying to a) get older people to be more physically active and b) assessing whether or not being more active is beneficial.  Of course if we accept that b) is true, which it almost certainly is, then the issue is how to motivate more people to engage with physical activity.  The review of reviews made comments about gender and affluence but, to me, it seems there are many other ways you can ‘cut’ the population and some of these may be more relevant.  For example, surely the involvement of overweight individuals in physical activity is as least as important as their gender.

Now, should SISCC implement some original work associated with the physical activity theme, should it act as a network framework so that best practice can be disseminated and collaborations stimulated or should it continue its review of current practices and their evaluation.  A hard one this. The discussion leaders, Thilo Kroll and Ania Zubala certainly collected a wealth of ideas from the group and will have an interesting challenge pulling them all together in some sort of useful form.

If you would like to find out how to get involved in this work-stream of improvement work or would like to see a more detailed summary of the day, please leave us amessage:

Also don’t forget to follow SISCC on twitter: @EBImprovement

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