The Pharmacy Guild says it looks forward to working with the Government on implementing aged care reforms
The final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety reinforces the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s commitment to helping ensure the growing ageing population receives the best possible healthcare, regardless of whether they live at home or in aged care facilities, the organisation says.
The Final Report made 148 recommendations, including the establishment of a new Aged Care Act to enshrine rights and provide a universal entitlement for high quality and safe care based on assessed need.
It also recommended that aged care providers retain at least one pharmacist, as well as other allied health providers, and significantly increase access to pharmacist-run medication management reviews.
Welcoming the findings and recommendations of the report, National President of the Pharmacy Guild George Tambassis said the care given to older Australians should ensure their optimum health outcomes and wellbeing.
Community pharmacy can play an important role in this aim, he said.
“This report sets the basis for major change and reform in the sector and the Guild looks forward to working closely with the Government to help refine and implement appropriate recommendations,” Mr Tambassis said.
“We note that the Guild’s Clinically safe and better value Community Pharmacy Aged Care model of care as presented to government in the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement negotiations presents a solution in keeping with the report’s recommendations.
“This package of care is underpinned by community pharmacist-led clinical governance and allows for autonomous prescribing by community pharmacists, including the ability to deprescribe.
“In addition, it provides for medicine education and oversight of medicine management policies and procedures. Medication adherence for people ageing at home is a critical need to be addressed to achieve safety and quality care, and community pharmacy is ideally placed to support those in their local communities in their safe use of medicines.
“Importantly, the model of care is based on quality assurance through accreditation against the AS85000 Quality Care Pharmacy Standard.
“It is a model of care that aligns with the Royal Commission’s intents and findings.”
Mr Tambassis said the report recommended “employing or otherwise retaining” a pharmacist in residential aged care facilities, “so it is appropriate that the services of a local community pharmacy be retained”.
“Other areas where we look forward to working to help the report’s recommendations bear fruit include seeing community pharmacy play an active role as care finders, and providing elements of care at home.”