Ten per cent of the annual NHS budget is spent on medication, with about 75% of this is prescribed in primary care. Ensuring that this money really improves patients’ health is vitally important. As the population ages, more people require increasing numbers of medications for chronic conditions and a third of elderly patients are taking four drugs or more for a spectrum of conditions. But this creates a major challenge – as research reveals that fewer than half of these patients take their medicines as prescribed. How can this challenge be addressed? This new series will provide simple practical guidance on how to conduct an effective medication review for a spectrum of long-term cardiovascular conditions.
What is important when a nurse and patient are together in a consultation? Most of us have had consultations where the discussion did not appear to achieve anything, while, on other occasions, both parties seemed to be working well together. This article looks at how to share the process of planning treatment with a patient to improve health outcomes; it examines what concordance is, and how to achieve it, looking at how this might work out in practice.
As people get older, their use of medications tends to rise and elderly patients often take a variety of medicines for an increasing number of health problems. Four in five people over the age of 75 years take at least one prescribed medication, while 36% are taking four or more, according to the 1998 Health Survey for England. How can we help our older patients to take their medicines, optimising convenience and minimising risks of non-compliance and sideeffects?