Gout Stop Nurse Theresa Chapman plays a key role in the Gout Stop programme as a kaiawhina for people with gout and a liaison between patient, practice, and pharmacy.
“I make contact with patients on the Gout Stop programme within two weeks of prescription to provide ongoing support, education, health system navigation, and liaison with general practice,” says Theresa when asked about her role. “I also contact the practice to make sure the patient returns for their follow-up appointment, that gout is classified on their system, and allopurinol is prescribed long term.”
For Theresa, motivation comes from knowing she can make a difference to the lives of patients with gout.
“I love hearing success stories and getting positive feedback from patients about how the support I offer helped to empower, encourage and educate them to manage their gout better,” she says.
It’s not only patients who have noticed the improvement in gout care since Theresa undertook her role in the Gout Stop programme.
Kawakawa pharmacist Lara Blaikie says Theresa goes ‘above and beyond’, putting significant effort into finding and following up patients.
“She regularly feeds back to me about conversations she has had with our mutual patients (this is the first time anyone has done this since the start of the programme). I have had patients comment on how helpful they found the conversations she had with them,” Lara says.
“It is great to have someone ‘filling in the gaps’ – there is frequently more information to be shared than can be covered in the consult that I have when the patient picks up their medication. Theresa fills in areas I may have missed and reinforces the information I have given.”
Managing a chronic condition is challenging for people, and Theresa says she aims to give patients the knowledge and empowerment to achieve better gout outcomes.
“I also want to tackle the stigma around having gout to give people the confidence to speak out about the condition among whānau, share knowledge about how to manage it, and improve health outcomes,” she says.