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Carlisle community mental health team recognised nationally for keeping patients safe

Back L-R: Sarah Pattinson – team secretary, Elaine Qeenan – CMHART manager, Dr Kieran Healy – Doctor and Dr Muller- consultant psychiatrist. Bottom L-R: Michelle Johnston- assistant practitioner, Siobhan Brewer- Pharmacist, Kristi Diamond- care co-ordinator and Mary Messenger- Clozapine clinic nurse

[S]taff from the community mental health and recovery team in Carlisle have been recognised for their efforts to ensure that mental health patients prescribed clozapine are each given physical health checks and that 100% of prescriptions are accurate with no delays.

A review in July 2017 showed that the process for issuing prescriptions in the north of the county could be improved for patients receiving clozapine, an antipsychotic medicine, and that physical health checks were not always being carried out as part of the process.

Patients and carers were involved in the review which has led to 100% of all prescriptions being accurate and timely for these patients and all patients receiving physical observations when they receive their prescriptions, alongside an invitation for an annual health check.

Linda Bennetts, Associate Director of Nursing for Mental Health at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “I am extremely pleased with the work that the teams have done to make these improvements. It demonstrates our commitment to delivering the highest quality care and by working with carers and patients, GPs and our independent pharmacy provider we have ensured that we have a robust and sustainable way of working.”

The process has now been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal Patient Safety Award.

Linda added: “This review is not a ‘one-off’ project but a continuous process. Teams now meet independently to review progress.”

Siobhan Brewer Principal Pharmacist for Mental Health said:

“By streamlining some of our processes, clinic staff can focus on patient care including the introduction of physical observations (blood pressure, temperature, pulse, weight). Improvements in processes for producing prescriptions and managing blood test results has released time for Trust pharmacists to attend clinics and speak to patients about adherence and management of side effects. These improvements in care would not have been achieved without the joint working of teams across boundaries. We are very proud of the work we have done.”

The clozapine clinic team now must deliver a presentation to the judging panel about the improvement programme on the 3rd May. The winners will be announced in July.

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