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Integration Fund key to NHS vision for pharmacy


Integration Fund key to NHS vision for pharmacy

Initiatives outlined in the Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF) will form the basis of “engaging and transforming the pharmacy workforce,” Health Education England (HEE) has said in a new consultation document.

Draft strategy

The authors of Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future: A draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027  say the document sets out a plan to meet the needs of staff and the healthcare service while shaping “the future we all want: a sustainable, free, universal healthcare system”. The consultation document will lead to a published workforce strategy in July 2018.

Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future argues that pharmacy “has a significant role to play in the delivery of new care models outlined in the Five Year Forward View”, and that it is “vital to the delivery of the medicines value programme”.

Key initiatives

According to the draft strategy, the PhIF, which is aimed at getting more pharmacy professionals delivering clinical services in a variety of NHS settings, will be key to developing the profession. The document says the seven workforce initiatives outlined in PhIF “will be the priority for engaging and transforming the pharmacy workforce”. The initiatives are:

  • Independent prescribing for pharmacists
  • Post-registration training for pharmacists
  • Community Pharmacy Technician Training and Development Programme
  • Care Home Training Pathway
  • NHS111/Integrated Urgent Care Workforce Development Programme
  • Clinical and professional leadership development
  • Accuracy and checking pharmacy technicians.


The Department of Health has been criticised for a lack of clarity around how moneys allocated to the PhIF are being spent. P3 reported in November on pharmacy minister Steve Brine’s revealing that just £2 million of a two-year budget of £42 million was spent in 2016/17 and that no details for 2017/18 would be released until March of this year. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society described this as “deeply disappointing” and urged the minister “not to accept excuses” from officials regarding the release of this information.

HEE says it is "currently delivering the initial fund priorities which are being implemented between 2016 and 2018. These priority actions will firstly deploy clinical pharmacists and pharmacy services in community and primary care including groups of general practices, care homes and urgent care settings such as NHS 111 and, secondly, create the environment and infrastructure to accelerate digital integration and medicines optimisation for patient-centred care."

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