NHS primary care needs to hear from pharmacy, says NPA

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NHS primary care needs to hear from pharmacy, says NPA

Pharmacists are being encouraged to feed into an NHS review of how primary care can best be supported to meet the needs of people in their local areas within the emergent integrated care systems (ICSs).

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) said the ‘Fuller Stocktake’, established by NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard and led by Surrey GP Claire Fuller, was “an opportunity to feed in, at a senior level of NHS management, experiences of community pharmacy integration at a local level”.

NPA chief executive Mark Lyonette said: “Local NHS systems need to be made aware of what is working and what is not working so well, so that expectations can be properly established from the outset, and good practice shared.”

The NPA has helped to ensure community pharmacy is represented on each of the review’s six key themes - creating the right environment (for working together), people (workforce), access (physical and non-physical), working with communities, data (for improving population health) and governance. Dr Fuller’s team will also hear direct from the sector in an upcoming NPA-convened roundtable on community pharmacy integration.

Aside from the formal elements of the review, pharmacists, pharmacy teams and “anyone with good ideas of knowledge of effective practice” is invited to join the conversation at #FullerStocktake and via the review’s website.

Professor Fuller, who is the senior responsible officer at Surrey Heartlands ICS, interim accountable officer of the CCG, visiting professor at Surrey University and an NHS Assembly member, said: “We are eager to hear a wide range of views about how to seize this opportunity to ensure integrated primary care is at the heart of ICSs.

“I want to hear from anyone and everyone with good ideas or who knows of effective practices or tools. Let's make the most of the opportunity for primary care and their patients that is presented by the formal establishment of integrated care systems in July. We are looking at the whole of primary care including community pharmacies, so it’s great that the NPA has offered to help engage its members and the wider sector in this process.

“As a practising GP since 1995 and a system leader, I have spent my career championing primary care, partnership working and integrated care. I am proud of the work we are doing within my own system, but I know there is not a one-size-fits-all solution and the challenges we face in Surrey Heartland will differ to that in the North East and North Cumbria or Derbyshire or Dorset, to name a few.”

The Stocktake is expected to make recommendations back to Ms Pritchard later in the spring, ahead of ICSs becoming statutory bodies in July.

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