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06 October 2015

Prescription for better epilepsy healthcare

Epilepsy Society has welcomed a new campaign to give pharmacists 'read and write' access to health records when consulting patients and dispensing medicines.

The campaign has been launched by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society which wants pharmacists to have secure, electronic access to a single up-to-date patient record to enable the delivery of safer, more effective, high quality care. The move would improve medicine use, keep patients and health professionals better informed and provide more holistic patient care.

Side effects from medication

Epilepsy Society's resident pharmacist Eisha Gosrani, right, said that having access to a patient’s health records, with their consent, could greatly enhance the pharmacist's ability to provide the best possible care for patients.

'This is particularly important for people with epilepsy where there can be many side effects from medications or drug interactions,' she said. 'The more we know about the wider picture of a person’s health profile, the better the care we can provide.

'This would also enhance a medicines use review where we sit down with a patient and look at how they are getting on with their medication, how their epilepsy is affecting them and how we might be able to help to improve their experience.’

Lifestyle and epilepsy

Epilepsy Society has been actively supporting the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to provide better support for pharmacists in caring for people with epilepsy. The charity worked on the RPS medicines optimisations briefing to give pharmacists a better understanding of the condition and ensure that any medication prescribed is clinically appropriate, safe, effective and helps people achieve their goals while fitting in with their lifestyle.

The NHS in England has already announced a programme to roll out Summary Care Record access to community pharmacies across England, after pilots showed this level of access reduced unnecessary visits to the GP and avoidable medicine errors. The RPS now wants to see a staged development of this initiative towards pharmacist read-write access to the single complete electronic health record for all patients which is currently in development across Great Britain.

Robust governance will ensure records are accessed by pharmacists together with other relevant health professionals only when there is a clinical need and only with the consent of the patient.


Find out how you can make the most of your pharmacist. 

We also have a dedicated section of our website for pharmacists to help them deliver the best possible healthcare for people with epilepsy. As well as information about seizures and anti-epileptic drugs, we have details about our free epilepsy app and our anti-epileptic drugs booklet.