Welcome to our new look website. In this issue we look at:
Tricky Topic #1 - Palliative Care
Diet & Depression
Tricky Topic #1 - Palliative Care
In the first of our series of “Tricky Topics” we look at what palliative care is and find it may well be more than you think.
Palliative care focuses on quality of life, for a person living with a life-limiting or terminal illness, as opposed to counting the days.
The World Health Organisation defines palliative care as “the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. Control of pain, of other symptoms, and of psychological, social and spiritual problems, is paramount. The goal of palliative care is the achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families.”
The Principles of Palliative Care
Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
Neither hastens nor postpones death
Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of care
Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death
Offers a support system to help patients’ families cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement
Many professions, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists, provide palliative care services. It is a team-based approach providing care to a person and their families. Open communication between health care professionals, patients and carers is essential in facilitating this care. Services may include:
Relief of pain and other symptoms
Resources such as equipment needed to aid care at home
Assistance for families to come together to talk about sensitive issues
Support for emotional, social and spiritual concerns
Counselling and grief support
Referrals to respite care services
Pharmacists at Gunn & McConville are often consulted and included in teams providing palliative care services.
In recognition of her interest and commitment in this area, Gunn & McConville pharmacist, Jodie Cotte, has been accepted as a member of the Safer Care Victoria’s Expert Working Group – Care of the dying person. We wish her all the best in this important and interesting new role.
More information can be found from the following websites:
A new study conducted by a team at Deakin University has shown improving diet quality can assist treating major depression. The study, which took place over three months, randomly assigned a group of adults with major depressive disorders either social support or clinical dietitian support.
The dietary support group were given information and assistance to improve their diets with emphasis on a Mediterranean diet, increasing the consumption of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, legumes, fish, lean red meats, olive oil and nuts.
The results, recently published, indicated the dietary support group experienced a greater reduction in their depressive symptoms compared to the social support group.
Professor Felice Jacka, Director of Deakin’s Food and Mood Centre said the results of her team's new study offered a possible new treatment approach to depression.
"These results were not explained by changes in physical activity or body weight but were closely related to the extent of dietary change. Those who adhered more closely to the dietary program experienced the greatest benefit to their depression symptoms." Professor Jacka said.
"Most of the people in our study were receiving psychotherapy or pharmacology treatment. But it's something that supports any other interventions designed to help depression," she said. "Weight loss is not a factor in this particular case, but we hope we'll help to change the public's ideas of why it's important to eat well - both from a prevention and a treatment point of view."
What is the Mediterranean diet?
Based on the eating habits of people living in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece
It's rich in olive oil, vegetables, fresh fruit, wholegrains, nuts and legumes
Moderate intake of fish, poultry, dairy products and red wine
Gunn & McConville Medication Management is an independent pharmacy owned by pharmacists Gideon Gunn, David McConville and Yet Shen (Yetti) Khor. In operation since 1999, Gideon and David transformed a well-established community pharmacy into a specialist service provider to aged care homes around Melbourne and its surrounds.
As Gunn & McConville approaches its 20 anniversary we thought it may be interesting to share some of your history.
Since Gideon and David began the partnership in 1999, our services and culture have always been based on people – our team and people who receive the medication and our services. For us it means making sure every dose for every medication for every person is correct and available to be taken or administered at the correct time. It also means ensuring medication prices are competitive and our team of pharmacists are knowledgeable, readily accessible and are great communicators.
In order to continually keep our customers smiling and well, we have implemented a number of improvements and innovations over the last 20 years.
The pharmacy is located in Balwyn North and includes a retail pharmacy and in 2017, a dedicated medication packing facility was established in the adjacent building. Gunn & McConville utilise the latest automation technology to assist the pharmacist dispense, check and supply prescribed medication accurately and on time!
Introduced 24-hour, 7 day a week emergency medication service to all aged care clients
Phased out the use of “dosettes”, a dose administration aid (DAA) used to store weekly medication at aged care facilities and homes. The unhygienic and error-prone dosettes were replaced with blister (Webster) packs. Webster packs also offered the safety of a computer-based patient profile system with a backup facility
Introduced secure packing and delivery of Schedule 8 medications (drugs of addiction) to all customers
Extended the pharmacy, allowing DAA packing to take place outside of the busy community pharmacy dispensary. Benefits included a reduction in packing errors and increased staff satisfaction
Entered into a partnership with MPS-Australia allowing Gunn & McConville to supply medication sachets produced with MPS state of the art automation and software platforms
Created an extra level of management incorporating an Aged Care Operations Manager
Incorporated Incident Reporting with 48-hour pharmacy response time across all homes serviced by Gunn & McConville
Pharmacy extended to include in-house Automated medication packaging and quality control