Barnsley Hospital pharmacy has launched a new clinic and support service for patients with inflammatory stomach conditions.
The service will monitor and provide moral support and advice on side effects to patients taking immunomodulatory drugs for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autoimmune hepatitis.
The pharmacy led approach means that patients will no longer have to make weekly appointments with a gastroenterology consultant at the hospital and can be monitored through blood tests taken at their local doctors.
Gillian Smith, lead pharmacist at the hospital said: “Setting up the pharmacy led clinic has been driven by improving our patient’s experiences, reducing the inconvenience to them having to visit the hospital when they may not need to.
“People suffering with an inflammatory stomach condition needing treatment of these drugs can vary dramatically from quite well, young, working professionals, to elderly patients some of whom are fairly poorly.
“Some will need more support than others to help manage the side effects and our new service can help offer a tailored service to each patient by providing support over the telephone, or by visiting the clinic.
“The main goal is to ensure we give each patient the support and advice they need to enable them to manage their own conditions in the long term.”
Patients will be monitored and supported by the clinic for 3-4 months until their conditions have stabilised and their side effects are minimal. After that time they can be referred back to their local GP.
Patients are already receiving support from the new clinic which expects to support 30-35 Barnsley patients at anyone time.