Lewisham GP and pharmacist exchange programme shortlisted for HSJ award
NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)'s, 'Walk in my shoes' programme has successfully been shortlisted for a HSJ Patient Safety 2016 award in the Improving Safety in Primary Care Category. The programme was created and facilitated by the CCG to offer GPs and pharmacists the opportunity to experience life in primary care from a different perspective, and to learn with and from each other in an effort to build relationships, improve systems and identify solutions together. GPs visited community pharmacies to gain practical insight into the community pharmacy working environment and in return community pharmacists spent time in GP practices to better understand the working environment of general practice.
42 General Practices and 45 pharmacies in Lewisham signed up to be involved in the programme. It took place from January to April 2015, and there were more than 160 exchange visits between GP practices and pharmacies. Each visit prompted a number of positive changes that have helped improve patient experience, reduce the likelihood of errors, increase efficiency and assist in the reduction of medicine waste.
Walk in my shoes, is part of the Medicine Optimisation Education Training (MOET) programme, which was created to develop activities in the NHS Lewisham CCG area which will help people to get the most from their medicines. It was enabled through funding by Health Education South London.
Martin Wilkinson, Chief Officer at NHS Lewisham CCG said, "Being shortlisted for a HSJ Patient Safety Award is an honour. This was an innovative project that has had a positive impact on processes and relationships between our GPs and community pharmacists. Most of all, we have been able to improve both patient safety and patient experience, with better communications and more co-ordinated care across the GP/ Pharmacy interface. Walk in my shoes is winner in my eyes".