New Pharmacist Advisory Service for our patients

Blackburn Clinic has been granted funding to engage a Clinical Pharmacist to provide a range of medication support services for eligible patients. The project will run for 9 months and aims to improve management of medications for older patients, particularly for those with multiple chronic conditions, taking multiple medications, or taking medications that are difficult to manage or have side-effect problems. There will be no cost to our patients for services provided through this project.

The Pharmacist will work from the consulting rooms at Blackburn Clinic, making it easy to liaise with our GPs about patient care. The Pharmacist will not dispense (sell or provide) medications, but will perform a range of activities including consultations with patients to:

a) review medication adherence and identify ways to help patients integrate their medicine-taking into their lifestyle.
b) review medications to identify and resolve Medication Related Problems (examples of Medication Related Problems include adverse reactions, over-dosage or under-dosage, interactions with other medications or other medical conditions, and difficulties in taking medications).
c) improve patient understanding of both their disease/conditions and how their medications work.

The Pharmacist will work closely with our doctors to improve the management of individual patients and through education of the general practice team, aim to improve quality prescribing.
Where appropriate and with your GP’s approval, the Pharmacist may recommend a Home Medicines Review in order to better clarify your needs, alternative or natural medicines being taken. There is no cost to the patient for a Home Medicines Review.

A coordinated approach between the pharmacist and GP can help streamline medication regimens, move patients to safer medications or safer dosages, ensure patients take their medications in the best possible manner and ultimately result in fewer Medication Related Problems.

The practice pharmacist can also be a link to existing community pharmacy services, and liaise with other care providers where appropriate.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has backed the concept of in-practice pharmacists “as a means of improving medications management in primary care and avoiding adverse medication events leading to hospitalisation” 1 .

If you are 65 years of age or older and take six or more medications (including over the counter medications), or have had a recent stay in hospital, you may benefit from this program. Please ask your GP whether it is suitable for you.

This program is funded by Eastern Melbourne PHN as part of the Australian Government’s PHN Program.

1. Lambert J. Do in-practice pharmacists really make a difference? The Medical Republic, 31 May 2018.

Dr Dunn supporting Operation Cleft.

Dr Rob Dunn is cycling 100 km on 7th October 2018 to raise money for cleft repair operations for children in Bangladesh.
More than 5,000 children are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate in Bangladesh each year. Cleft repair surgery is not covered under the Bangladesh health care system, and the cost of surgery out of reach of most Bangladeshi families.
Operation Cleft is a unique Rotary project that provides free cleft repair surgery to underprivileged children in Bangladesh. Operation Cleft began in 2005 as a project of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central and is still supported by them.
Unfortunately, these children are shunned by society, discouraged to attend school and generally excluded because of the way they look. Children with cleft problems have difficulty feeding as babies and difficulty eating when older, risking malnutrition. They are susceptible to ear, nose and throat infections. Without treatment children develop nasal speech patterns that are difficult to change, so treatment is best done while children are young.
Operation Cleft Australia Foundation depends entirely on community donations to achieve 1,000 operations each year. Operation Cleft also speech therapy programs following cleft repair surgery.
Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible in Australia. To sponsor Dr Dunn’s cycling challenge online go to www.operationcleft.org.au. Donation tins are also available at Blackburn Clinic reception.