Common reasons for referral/How do I access this service?
Usually only accessed as part of an inpatient stay.
What should I expect on my first visit?
Within a few days of admission to the acute unit the psychiatric ward pharmacist will confirm your pre-admission medications - especially if you are on physical medications as well as psychiatric ones
What kinds of questions will be asked?
- If necessary the pharmacist will approach you personally and discuss which medications you were taking at home before you were admitted to hospital. Things that they might ask you would be:
- Are you on any medications at home?
- Do you get medicines on a prescription from your GP for any non-psychiatry conditions (i.e. blood pressure, diabetes, etc)
- Are you on inhalers? Contraceptive pill? Eye drops? Patches? Creams? Herbal remedies or vitamins? Any medications that you take on one day of the week or one day of the month only?
- Are you on any depot medications? If so when did you have it last and when is it due next? If so who administers it to you?
- Are you allergic to any medicines or foods? If so what is the reaction you have?
- If you are on a lot of medicines you may also be asked which pharmacy you usually get you medicines from.
Sometimes if you cannot remember all of the medications that you were taking at home before you came into hospital, the pharmacist will ask you if it is okay to contact your local dispensing community pharmacy or maybe your GP to confirm what medication you were taking at home before you came into hospital
Do I need to bring anything?
Ideally (and if possible) it is always best to bring you own medicines in from home and give them to the nurses on the ward to hold, that way if the pharmacist has any questions about the medicines that you were taking at home, they will already be on the ward and you will be able to discuss them with the pharmacist more easily.
Do I need to bring another person?
No, this will usually be part of your inpatient stay
How much time should I allow?
Length of time this takes can vary, it will depend on how many medicines you were taking at home before you came in to hospital and whether or not you are on physical medications as well.
What happens next?
Occasionally the list that the hospital has upon your admission to hospital may be slightly different from the tablets that you usually take at home. If this happens it may be intentional, but your pharmacist will always let your doctors know so that if necessary changes can be made.
What if I can't attend an appointment?
This is not usually a problem as it will be done as part of your inpatient stay
What other things might the pharmacist do while I am an inpatient?
On the unit the pharmacist will also do many other things
- every day the psychiatry pharmacist will try to look at all the medication charts, they will ensure that any changes to your medications are done appropriately - that would be if you were being switched from one medication to another, or if you were being started or stopped on a medicine.
- They will also check your medication chart and ensure that if new medicines such as antibiotics are started that there are no interactions with your other existing medicines (that is that the new medications do not effect in some way the medicines that you are already taking)
- If for some reason you require IV medications then the pharmacist will liaise with the nursing staff to ensure that they have all the information that they need to administer that medicines to you.
- If for some reason you have any swallowing difficulties and need to switch your medicines from tablets to liquids, then the pharmacist would assist with this
Basically the ward psychiatry pharmacist is there to help the patient, nursing staff and doctors with anything to do with medications