Over the six month period, 64 patients were invited to attend and 117 appointments were made in the pharmacist clinic. The attendance rate was 89.8 per cent. The age of the patients ranged from 38–93 years with a mean age of 70.3 years.
Referrals included patients:
- already prescribed at least one medicine for hypertension but whose blood pressure was not controlled (n=58)
- with a new diagnosis of hypertension (n=2)
- requiring monitoring due to postural hypotension concerns (n=3)
- with a change of regime due to a new diagnosis of heart failure (n=1).
Patients attended between one and five clinic appointments.
The service was well received by the patients who expressed satisfaction with the continuity of service and the staff at the GP surgery who particularly liked the independent prescribing aspects.
At the end of the project 55 per cent of the patients had been discharged as blood pressure targets had been achieved. The success of the project was limited by the time frame as optimisation was not complete for referrals to the clinic towards the end of the six-month period.
The pilot study clearly demonstrated the feasibility of pharmacist prescribers in the management of hypertension. In this clinic, patients were booked by practice staff. An ongoing clinic targeting high risk patients should be undertaken to maximise the benefits on patient outcomes.