LloydsPharmacy has collaborated with Dr Mahendra Patel, academic Pharmacist and board member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of GB (RPSGB), to produce a guide for its pharmacy teams on how to advise diabetic patients to fast safely if they are observing Ramadan.
Deep Patel, LloydsPharmacy NHS excellence manager, said: “We found that our teams were increasingly asking for our guidance on how to help patients during Ramadan. I am excited that we have been able to work with diabetic specialists to produce this toolkit. This would be a very useful resource to help carry out an MUR more effectively.
“Fasting can impact significantly on health conditions, especially diabetes, and we wanted our colleagues to understand how to support patients with the management of their condition so that they feel able to make a more informed decision about fasting – and if so, to fast safely.
“If an individual is advised by their medical practitioner that fasting would be potentially detrimental to their health, then according to Islamic Law for Muslims their religious authorities and scholars would advocate that the individual should not fast. However, some people choose to fast regardless and we wanted to make it clear to our teams that their patients should feel supported in their choice and that their choice is respected by us.”
Steve Howard, LloydsPharmacy quality and regulatory director, goes on to say: “I am delighted that we have been able to work in partnership with Dr Mahendra Patel, to bring this important piece of work to fruition. I have no doubt that it will greatly assist our pharmacy teams to provide the best possible care and advice to diabetic patients who are fasting during Ramadan.”
Mahendra Patel said: “I am really grateful to LloydsPharmacy alongside national experts from religious and different healthcare disciplines for their unwavering support in helping to produce this valuable toolkit.
“The holy month of Ramadan is upon us, and for Muslims this involves 29 days of extensive fasting. It is crucial that we as pharmacists provide adequate support to ensure safe fasting, especially for those with diabetes (as well as other health conditions).
“Pharmacists play a vital role in the day-to-day management of long-term conditions. I therefore believe that the toolkit will be invaluable in supporting LloydsPharmacy teams throughout the UK, and from all backgrounds, to be better equipped in managing diabetes more effectively and with greater confidence.
“I look forward to producing more pharmacy support tools with LloydsPharmacy targeting minority ethnic health issues.”
The toolkit was produced in conjunction with healthcare experts from the South Asian Foundation and endorsed by the RPSGB and the Muslim Council of Britain. It contains information on the risks of fasting; staying safe whilst fasting; advice on when diabetics should not fast; managing hypos and generally staying healthy during Ramadan with lifestyle tips.