Patients requiring hospital care for conditions such as cancer could be given the option of receiving treatment closer to home at specialist centres within local LloydsPharmacy stores by arrangement with commissioners, the company has said.
Planned as an extension of LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare service, which offers specialist nursing support to patients in their own homes, LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centres could be located in one of the company’s 50 hospital outpatient dispensary pharmacies, in an existing community pharmacy with more than one consultation room, or in a dedicated centre that would be specifically built where required.
The range of services offered could include specialised medicine collection, subcutaneous injections, infusion clinics, testing and screening. One service proposed is for Herceptin injection treatment for breast cancer, delivered by a trained oncology nurse, where the patient has been identified by the consultation as suitable and safe for community treatment.
Three potential services are already being developed, said the company, in the North-East, Midlands and Manchester.
Having treatment closer to home, with less travel and avoiding the stresses of issues such as finding a space in a hospital car park, would be more convenient for patients and offer additional resource to hospital departments, suggested LloydsPharmacy.
“Traditionally, patients have to travel to hospitals for treatments which could be administered in the local community. Utilising our current pharmacy network means that patients can receive vital treatment near to home at their local LloydsPharmacy,” commented Ruth Poole, speciality director at Celesio UK.
“As well as being more convenient, this gives patients access to our pharmacy teams who can provide expert guidance and advice on related issues including medicine management and adherence.”
Patients receiving treatment would also have ready access to pharmacy advice and specialist ranges of products in the pharmacy, such as skincare.
Changes in pharmacy funding and in the NHS requires “new and innovative thinking”, said the company.