By Mark Robinson, pharmacy lead at New NHS Alliance.
It may seem silly to talk about winter pressures in the middle of what is turning out to be a hot summer, but that is when planning should happen.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said last year “was the busiest winter ever within the NHS”. He went on to say: “The situation is unsustainable, and we must plan now to ensure we don’t put staff and patients under such intolerable pressure next year”.
The King’s Fund has produced reports showing the increased pressure in general practice. The BMA and the RCGP are both worried about how general practice, which is already in crisis, will again cope with another winter. NHS England seems to understand and has promised extra cash through the GP Forward View.
I am reliably told there will be another ‘Pharmacy First’ campaign that will try to explain to the population that they should visit a community pharmacy for a very wide range of conditions before seeing their GP or visiting out of hours or even urgent care services.