Optimising lipid management using novel therapies

Throughout National Cholesterol Month, we have been sharing articles from regional experts, all providing valuable insight into the ways the primary care workforce can tackle health inequalities and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

In our final article, Barry Todd, a Pharmacist Practitioner working in Wallsend, discusses the ways in which primary and secondary care staff can work together, to utilise novel therapies and ensure patients are prescribed the most appropriate medicine. In doing so, patients are given the best chance of avoiding cardiac events.

Barry Todd, Pharmacist Practitioner at Village Green Surgery in Wallsend and Wallsend PCN Pharmacy Lead said:

“In the 42 years I’ve been a Pharmacist, I’ve never been so excited at the opportunity to make a real difference to benefit patients, by tackling healthcare inequalities and driving down cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

“The roll out of new therapies across the Lipid Management Pathway has provided an opportunity to work collaboratively across primary and secondary care sectors and together create a template to spread and adopt the therapies across the region, to reach more patients. I would encourage all healthcare professionals to review every lipid result and don’t be afraid to use the new therapies.”

Talking about a pharmacist-led pilot project he has led on, alongside HI NENC, Barry continued:

“There’s a real opportunity to use the workforce differently and ensure staff skills are being utilised appropriately and to the best of their ability. I’m really proud to have led on a pharmacist-led pilot project alongside the HI NENC, to optimise the treatment of people with disordered lipids.

“Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians have a crucial role to play in lipid management. They have a dedicated skill set and knowledge base for optimising patient medicines, and working in lipid optimisation builds on this underpinning knowledge.

“We have a mandate to drive down cholesterol levels and with it CV morbidity and mortality – the NHS Long Term Plan, recent IIF and DES indicators and now it is enshrined in CHOL001 and CHOL002 in 2023-24 QOF. We are being measured and incentivised for driving down our ‘bad’ (non-HDL) cholesterol to below 2.5 mmol/litre – the National Target. What an opportunity we have to make a difference!”

Read Dr Tim Butler’s article, which highlights how primary care staff can work together, to improve patient outcomes for people at risk of CVD, here.


To find out more about the pilot project Barry led on, read the full case study here: Lipid Optimisation – the Role of a Pharmacy Technician

To access the NEELI Guidelines, click here: NEELI Guidelines

To find out more about the Lipid Management Pathway, visit: Lipid Management Pathway – Health Innovation NENC

To access resources for primary care, visit: Resources for Primary Care – Health Innovation NENC