James Wood, the secretary to the Wright review steering group, has assured contractors the RSG is aware of “the growing importance” of integrated care systems as it continues to develop proposals to reform LPCs and the PSNC.
The group is hoping to put proposals on the reforms to contractors this autumn and hold a vote by the end of this year or early 2022, with concerns lingering that LPCs lack influence within ICSs.
As ICSs will commission pharmacy services locally from April next year, LPCs will need to make sure they are making themselves heard and Mr Wood said contractor representation and support will need to be improved in the context of an evolving NHS and ICSs.
Forty-two ICSs will bring hospital, community, mental health and primary care services together with local authorities and other care stakeholders across England.
“The RSG is aware that many factors will influence the effectiveness of contractor representation and support in the future, including any changes on the NHS side, and in particular the growing importance of the ICS structure,” Mr Wood told Independent Community Pharmacist.
“The RSG will consider the impact these factors may have when exploring the feasibility, cost, and benefits to contractors of any proposals. This is part of the work on developing proposals for the sector that is currently underway.”
The PSNC’s director of NHS services Alastair Buxton stressed the community pharmacy contractual framework will continue to be negotiated nationally by the PSNC, Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and Improvement even though ICSs “will pick up administrative roles related to” the CPCF.
“The current local commissioning of services by CCG will move to ICS. Most local services are commissioned by councils, who may wish to commission such services collaboratively across ICS or continue as now,” he said.
“ICS will become an important part of the local healthcare landscape and we will continue our work to support LPCs to engage with them and other local leaders.”