Collaboration is key for community pharmacy
Further integration between community pharmacy and other local clinicians in areas involved in the ‘primary care home’ (PHC) initiative, developed by the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC), is being encouraged in a paper complied by leaders from across the pharmacy sector.
‘Primary care home: community pharmacy integration and innovation’, produced looks at ways that LPCs, individual community pharmacies and PCHs can better use pharmacists’ skills. A list of actions is suggested to encourage PCHs and community pharmacy to collaborate to find innovative solutions to challenges and help improve local population health.
In the primary care home workforce model, staff come together as a care community – drawn from GP surgeries, community, mental health and acute trusts, social care and the voluntary sector – to focus on local population needs and provide care closer to patients’ homes. There are currently 211 sites across the country, serving approximately nine million patients.
Conversations about more meaningful local collaboration could begin with topics such as the flu vaccination service, suggested those involved in the panel, including representatives from PSNC, CCA and RPS.
The NAPC paper focuses on the three key roles for community pharmacy outlined in the Community Pharmacy Forward View: a facilitator of personalised care for people with long-term conditions; a trusted, first port of call for episodic healthcare advice and treatment; and a neighbourhood health and wellbeing hub.
Joint working must go further
“Through the primary care home model, we want to take joint working much further so that community pharmacies are integral to supporting the health and care needs of their local population,” says Dr James Kingsland, NAPC president.
Ash Soni, NAPC executive member and president of the RPS, commented: “This is an important document to enable pharmacy and general practice to collaborate effectively within primary care homes to provide enhanced care and outcomes to the populations they both serve by recognising the strengths and capabilities of pharmacists and their teams.”