The NHS has declining resources in real terms so pharmacy could be the answer, says Chris Martin
Pharmaceutical care services based around the community pharmacy network have been on pharmacy’s service development agenda since around 2005. In the almost 10 years since then, this concept has developed to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the attitudes of local commissioners – and in some cases, on which side of Hadrian’s Wall or Offa’s Dyke you are located.
Today the NHS across Britain faces the task of meeting increasing demand for services with declining resources in real terms. As a result, pharmaceutical care and its potential to release the underutilised resource of the community pharmacy network has once again become the currency of negotiation and lobby. You just need to read strategy documents, such as Scotland’s Prescription for Excellence or Wales’ public health consultation document ‘Listening to You’ or to digest the minutes of the Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme and its work on rethinking the supervision legislation in pharmacy, to see that the country’s health departments all have developing pharmacy very much on their minds.