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New NHS Alliance calls for pharmacy ‘forward view’


New NHS Alliance calls for pharmacy ‘forward view’

A Department of Health strategy is needed for community pharmacy to enable the sector “to deliver its potential,” market analyst, the New NHS Alliance, has recommended.

New NHS Alliance pharmacy lead, Mark Robinson, said: “There is no community pharmacy led Vanguard or PM challenge fund programs despite Simon Stevens’ assurance that we ‘need to take action on four fronts’: tackle the root causes of ill health; give patients more control of their own care; change to meet the needs of an aging population, living longer with long term conditions and wanting their care to focus around them; deliver new models of care."

Healthcare must recognise the pharmacy’s unique position within the community and their ability to reduce demand within general practice as part of the solution to the crisis within general practice, said the organisation in its report “Supporting the Development of Community Pharmacy Practice within Primary Care”.

Dr Mark Spencer, co-chair, New NHS Alliance said: “New NHS Alliance is disappointed that there is not a community pharmacy led new model of care and that the NHS has failed to fully utilise the expertise of the community pharmacist within their locations in the heart of many communities. We must recognise community pharmacy as a professional clinical retail healthcare environment and as an integral member of the primary care team.

More discussion is needed about the future development of pharmacy services within a multi-facetted integrated model, said the organisation.

The paper recommends that:

• NHS England pays specific attention to commissioning a community pharmacy led new model of care looking to fully utilise the pharmacist’s expertise within the heart of communities

• GPs must support community pharmacy as the first call point for patients with acute self-limiting conditions and minor ailments, both as commissioners and partners in delivery

• GPs, community pharmacy representatives and Government should work together to reclassify medicines and reconsider NHS reimbursement

• GPs should play a lead role in ensuring that complete pathways of care are commissioned that avoid duplication of effort

• GPs should identify element of holistic care that can be identified as self care opportunities for delivery within a community pharmacy

• GPs have a leading role in the commissioning and development of services from community pharmacy

• The GPs should identify situations where, once the diagnosis has been made the complete care of that condition can be transferred to the community pharmacy under an agreed treatment protocol

• Directors of Public Health, CCG commissioning leads, GPs and community pharmacy representatives should create a local plan to support community pharmacies in delivering a consistent public health message and associated services to their catchment population.

Read the full report here


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