Four or More Medicines - Preparing for success with six-month reviews
Monday, 3 June 2013
The phrase “perfect preparation prevents poor performance” applies when getting ready to complete all of your patients’ six-month reviews.
The six-month consultation (which is actually the second quarterly review) is the most important milestone for the Community Pharmacy Future project since the COPD Support Service was launched in September last year. 

The formal analysis of the project will be comparing any changes seen between the initial reviews and the six-month reviews. Hence we need every patient to have had a six-monthly review before the end of June.

IMS Health, a respected firm of health analyists, will be using the data from the six-month reviews to indicate the health economic benefits of the service. It is this data, setting out the benefits to patients and the NHS, which will be vital in convincing NHS England – the new national commissioning body – to take the service on and develop it into part of the national pharmacy contract.

To ensure all your six-month reviews go smoothly, it might be a good idea to get them booked in at times that are convenient to both the patient and the pharmacy team. Don’t forget to call the customer the day before the consultation to remind them.

It is also worthwhile asking yourself a few questions:

  • Do you have a plan to complete the six-month reviews™ before the end of June?

  • Do you need any support and, if so, have you asked™ for it?

  • Have all your existing consultations been entered into™ ESMAQ?

The six-month reviews are a vital stage in the future success of the project, so ensure you are well prepared so that you can get all your patients reviewed before the end of June – Good luck! 

Visitors see Four or More Service in action in Boots


The success of the Four or More Medicines Support Service has led to requests by official groups to see the service in action. At the end of April, representatives from the pharmacy negotiators, PSNC, and their Government counterparts at NHS Employers, visited Wigan. The photograph shows (L-R): David Lees (Boots), Marie-Claire Demblon (NHS Employers), Sue Sharpe (PSNC), Alastair Buxton (PSNC), Vicki Woodall (Boots), and Andrew Clapperton (NHS Employers) visiting Boots, Bryn.

Photo by Parag Oza

Our support for patients will continue after June

The Management Committee for the Community Pharmacy Future project has decided that our pharmacies will continue to provide medicines support for our patients beyond the formal end of the study in June. We believe that patients are benefiting from the support they are receiving and it would not be right to deny our patients these benefits.

As we heard at the celebration event last month, both patients and our pharmacy teams say that they are benefiting from the service. Our patients say that they are seeing the pharmacy team in a new light, and appreciating the wide range of support you can give them, not just for their medicines.
At the same time, our pharmacy teams say that they are gaining greater professional satisfaction from the service. It has improved relationships with patients, and also with GPs and other healthcare professionals. We are keen to see these “soft benefits” continue, while the “hard benefits”, in health economic terms, of the service are formally evaluated. These results are due to be published later this year.
Patients who are already enrolled on to the Four or More Medicines Support Service will still receive support from our pharmacy teams, but the data collection elements of the service will be scaled back.
For example, you will still be able to recommend to patients that they should have a winter flu vaccination, once the vaccination programme restarts in the autumn.

We will share more details of how the revised service will be delivered before the end of June.

What our patients think of the service

“Very simple, very straightforward and to the point, no jargon and it’s easy to take on board.”
“Quite relevant because as you get older, your health and thinking changes. It gives you a guide that if something re-ocurs, it reminds you to raise it.”
— Comments from Four or More patients interviewed by researchers

Four or More Medicines Service celebration event

FOMM event - April - photo by Jonathan Buisson FOMM event - April - photo by Jonathan Buisson
The celebration event held at the DW Stadium, Wigan, on 17th April provided an opportunity for pharmacy teams to discuss how they are getting on with the Four or More Medicines Support Service. The photos show (left) colleagues from Rowlands Pharmacy discussing their experiences, and (right) Co-operative Pharmacy Superintendent Pharmacist Janice Perkins and Managing Director John Nuttall hearing from their pharmacy teams.

Photos by Jonathan Buisson

Progress report

At 31st May 2013, we had review records entered on ESMAQ for patients who have had two quarterly reviews:

Four or More Support Service  |  228 patients  |  (Retention rate 79%)

The Community Pharmacy Future project is a collaboration between
Well Pharmacies
Lloyds Pharmacy
Rowlands Pharmacy a company of the PHOENIX group