Getting the best out of medicines


Following the success of last year’s event local people who use mental health services provided by the Trust and their carers were invited back to a special medicines information event at Fieldhead, Wakefield.

The working together to get the best out of medicines event was organised by the Trust’s drug and therapeutics trust action group to help highlight what information is available in the Trust and elsewhere regarding medicines prescribed for people with mental health problems.

It is the action group’s responsibility to advise the Trust on policy related to appropriate use, availability and cost of medicines, related products and physical therapies to be used within the Trust. The group also monitors the entry of new medicines and therapies in the Trust with reference to the impact on patient care, safety and cost implications.

This special information day was an opportunity to offer an update on the work that has taken place over the past year in response to requests made by service users at last year’s event.

The group were able to use the event as an opportunity to launch an information website, which provides access to comprehensive information about medication for service users, carers and professionals. The website, which is a result of suggestions made at last year’s event, can be accessed at and it is hoped it will increase the amount of information available to service users and carers regarding medicines used in mental health.

More than 60 services users, carers and staff attended the day and were able to have their say on the future of information provision surrounding medicines within the Trust and took part in workshops that encouraged group discussion about medicines.

A number of speakers led discussions including the Trust’s medical director Dr Nisreen Booya and the chief pharmacist Lynn Haygarth, giving service users and their carers the opportunity to ask questions relating to the Trust’s policy on prescribing medicines and to find out the medicines management work going on within the Trust, new advances and successes.

The Trust was pleased to welcome Dr Gill Hawksworth as the lead speaker to the event. Dr Hawksworth is a local community pharmacist, pharmacy lecturer at Huddersfield University and a past president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. She shared her thoughts on how community pharmacists can help service users and carers understand their medication by taking part in medicines use reviews.

Dr Crockett also took part in the event speaking about issues prescribers take into account when considering medicines choice, as did Dr Bipin Upadhyay who held his popular session on music therapy.

It was a very productive day with lots of ideas made that the group hopes to develop, such as creating a pharmacist telephone helpline for service users and carers; working with charities and GP surgeries to increase information available in the community and holding more events to inform people about medicines.

Kate Dewhirst, medicines management pharmacist, said, "This was an ideal opportunity for people who use the Trust’s mental health services and their carers to hear indepth information about medicines and suggest what questions they could ask if their treatment plan includes prescribed medicine. We hope the information gained at the event will help to tackle any worries services users and carers might have surrounding medicines."

Get involved in medicines choices

If you are prescribed medicine by the Trust the ‘Get involved in medicines choice (118KB)‘ document might be useful to help you better understand your treatment.

For further information about medication visit the Choice and medication website or ask your keyworker, mental health practitioner, doctor, nurse or pharmacist. Your GP or community pharmacist will also be available to provide assistance.

Getting the best out of medicines

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