Preventing malnutrition in later life

How GP Practice Pharmacists can integrate nutrition into the care of older people

GP prac pharm

This blog has been contributed by Hannah Harding, Partnership and Strategy Manager at Nutricia. Hannah recently attended i2i “Frailty in Older People” workshops aimed at GP Practice Pharmacists. She noticed real vigour and enthusiasm from the GP Pharmacists on integrating nutrition into the management of frail older people.  

What is the i2i Network?

The i2i Network is an insight to implementation network designed to help Practice Pharmacists implement best practice in their surgeries. Developed by Soar Beyond, the i2i Network provides innovative, interactive, specialist workshops, tailored for Practice Pharmacists. It includes an online platform containing a suite of specific tools and resources which help support the practical implementation to manage specific patient groups and disease areas.

Why are Practice Pharmacists and the i2i Network important?

This is significant because the role of Practice Pharmacists in general practice has never been more important. NHS England’s General Practice Forward View has recognised this by committing to a vision for funding 1,500 practice pharmacists by 2020. Practice Pharmacists are set to become as instrumental to GP practices as the current role of Practice Nurses.

What’s more, the patient populations that pharmacists are most likely to be working with are older people and those with frailty and long-term conditions. They will therefore be ideally placed to recognise the importance of treating malnutrition with these high risk groups to improve and maintain better health. Practice Pharmacists will also be seeing many of these patients through the long-term condition clinics they run or through their over 75’s medicine reviews.

i2i workshops are helping GP Practice Pharmacists improve nutritional care for frail older patients

In the latest i2i workshops in London & Manchester, accomplished speakers including expert pharmacists in older care, GPs and dietetic experts provided insights into the physiology of older people and the implications for this on treatment and management. The informative workshops examined what frailty means and the challenges in health and well-being provision to support these patients. They emphasised the importance of embedding nutritional care into the holistic management programme and doing so in a structured manner. The insight sessions were complemented by illustrative, interactive case studies which demonstrated and supported the use of practical tools such as the Managing Adult Malnutrition in the Community Pathway to identify and manage malnutrition appropriately. This combination will provide the pharmacists with the knowledge and confidence to manage frail older patients with complex needs more effectively.

It was great to see that by the end of the workshop the pharmacists could understand the value of including nutrition in the management of frailty. They were keen to continue to develop their expertise, and will have an important role in influencing and achieving appropriate identification and management of malnutrition in the community.

To find out more about the i2i Network and the resources available to practice pharmacists, visit their website.

Click here to see their upcoming workshops.

Quotes praising i2i workshops
Quotes expressing usefulness of i2i workshops

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To read other Malnutrition Task Force blogs, click here

 

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