Case Study – Northern Ireland | SIMPATHY project


Population projections for Northern Ireland (NI) predict a marked increase in the number of people aged 65 and over which is projected to increase by some 44% in the period 2014 to 2029 and by 74% by 2039. The priority in NI is to embed personalised care into daily healthcare practice for frail older people. The strategic direction includes a focus on: preventing disease progression, providing self-management care, personalised health care, optimising appropriate telehealth, improving prevention, early detection and risk prediction measurements and, importantly, involving older people as partners in care. Many older patients have multiple co-morbidities, experience polypharmacy and complex social care needs. In NI, an integrated pharmaceutical care service was established, introducing a consultant pharmacist role tasked with case managing older persons. The consultant pharmacist leads a specialist team working at the acute, intermediate and community interfaces where they can act as medicines advocates for the older, vulnerable patient population with complex medicine needs while remaining an integral part of the multi-disciplinary healthcare team.