When asked by Steve Double MP whether enhancing the role of community pharmacies could help relieve pressure on GPs, Mr Brine outlined his wishes to see the sector better integrated with STPs – plans drawn up in areas throughout England aimed at improving NHS services and population health.
Mr Brine said: “We know there are benefits to be had from better integrating pharmacists with STPs. So, through the pharmacy integration fund we are integrating pharmacists into primary care and I’ve heard very good reports about how that’s going. We will have 2,000 of them in general practice by 2020.”
He added: ”Community pharmacies themselves should be integrated through STPs because it is one NHS.”
Gareth Jones, the NPA’s head of corporate affairs said: “Pharmacies are too often overlooked by STPs. The NPA calls on government to provide guidance to STPs on the vital role we play within primary care – and the fantastic insight we can provide in the design of local health services that are fit for the future.
“For our part, we will continue to engage with any enlightened STP and Clinical Commissioning Group that fully recognises the clinical and cost benefits of integrating community pharmacy into their plans.”