Primary Care Professional Support and COVID-19: Consultant Pharmacist support

We’ve asked consultant pharmacists in England to share their insights using an informal interview format, with our Associate Director, Dr Barry Jubraj. Each short podcast includes consultants sharing details with of how their cohort of patients have been affected by COVID-19, key issues to consider for primary care pharmacy professionals and nuggets of useful information.

This collection of podcasts will hopefully grow and we welcome feedback on them and suggestions for future podcasts or webinars. Please click on this get in touch link to do so.

To access the entire series of recordings as a playlist through Sound Cloud, click here

COVID and … Antimicrobials

Dr Stuart Bond: Consultant Pharmacist, Antimicrobials at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is part of our AMR network. He discusses the use of antimicrobials to treat pneumonia associated with COVID with advice from the NICE Rapid Guideline: Managing suspected or confirmed pneumonia in adults in the community. He highlights the continued importance of antimicrobial stewardship and evidence based medicine.

COVID and … Cardiology

Dr Rani Khatib: Consultant Pharmacist, Cardiology and Cardiovascular Clinical Research at Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust highlights how primary care pharmacists can make each contact count with patients with cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension and heart failure by asking them about their condition and their medicines adherence. He explores the evidence behind the advice for patients to continue their ACE inhibitor and ARB medication during the COVID pandemic.

COVID and … Diabetes

Philip Newland-Jones: Consultant Pharmacist, Diabetes and Endocrinology at University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust outlines some of the effects of COVID-19 on patients with diabetes, the increase in admissions that occurred during the earlier stages of the pandemic, and some of the complications seen, such as ketosis.  On returning to business as usual, Phil provides some thoughts on the need to stratify diabetic patients so that colleagues in primary care can prioritise which diabetic patients they try to see most urgently.

COVID and … End of Life Care

Melinda Presland: Consultant Pharmacist, Palliative and End of Life Care at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust discusses the challenges of delivering palliative care during the pandemic including reaching patients in the their own homes and the anxiety of increased patient numbers requiring end of life care.

COVID and … Haematology

Dr Jig Patel: Consultant Pharmacist, Anticoagulation at King’s College Hospital highlights that COVID seems to be associated with a hypercoagulable state (microthrombosis and increased incidence of VTE). He discusses the debate on the use of anticoagulation in at risk patients and what to expect upon transfer of care back into general practice, particularly if patients are on extended thromboprophylaxis on discharge.


Leonie Swaden: Consultant Pharmacist, HIV Medicine at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust discusses aspects of HIV medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmacists are encouraged to take a full and complete medication history, to be prepared to use specialist HIV pharmacy services, and to be aware of the hesitation of some patients to let their primary care team know about their condition. Leonie also shares details of how HIV patients have fared during the pandemic.

COVID and … Mental Health

Caroline Parker: Consultant Pharmacist, Adult Mental Health at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust reflects on the challenges COVID has had on mental health trusts and patients.

COVID and … Neurology  

Shelley Jones: Consultant Pharmacist, Neurosciences at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust highlights how COVID-19 has affected patients with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and others besides.  Pharmacy colleagues shouldn’t be afraid to refer to a consultant pharmacist if they are concerned about their neurology patients and check in with their patients to see if they need additional support.  Shelley highlights how sometimes, matters to do with the brain can seem too specialist for generalists to deal with, but there is a great deal that all pharmacists can do to support their patients.

COVID and … Oncology

Emma Foreman: Consultant Pharmacist, Oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust discusses the need for pharmacists to encourage patients to report symptoms that could be suggestive of cancer. The impact of isolation on patients with cancer is discussed and the challenges of neutropenic sepsis in this population. Treating side effects such as dry skin, mouth and hair can make a real difference to quality of life and pharmacists are well placed to support.

COVID and … Paediatrics 

Joanne Crook: Specialist Pharmacist, Paediatrics at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust highlights that although children often present with mild or no symptoms with COVID, there has still been a huge impact on usual care, children who were required to shield and not being able to attend school etc.

COVID and … Respiratory

Gráinne d’Ancona: Consultant Pharmacist, Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust discusses the RECOVERY trial and the vital use of evidence based medicine. She explores why the risks associated with COVID may be different for patients with asthma vs. those with COPD.

COVID and … Shared Decision Making

Lelly Oboh and Nina Barnett Consultant Pharmacists for Older People at the NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service explore the need to involve patients in decisions about their care during a challenging time. Using INR warfarin monitoring as an example, the recording highlights how shared decision-making is just as important in difficult situations.

Accompanying powerpoint slides: Making decisions during a pandemic – a real-life example

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