NHS England will not publish a response to the Murray review of community pharmacy clinical services, its chief pharmaceutical officer told a meeting last week of the All-Party Pharmacy Group.
Keith Ridge told MPs the review had made an “important contribution” to policy development but there was no need for a formal response as it had already been “taken into account” in the ‘Next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’ strategy.
The review “makes some important points about community pharmacy integration,” he added. “I’m sure it will influence any future discussions with community pharmacy.”
The document, which was commissioned by NHS England and led by the King’s Fund director of policy Richard Murray, was published in December last year. It was described by the then pharmacy minister David Mowat as “an essential road map” for developing the community pharmacy network.
It was designed to build on existing clinical services provided by community pharmacy and, among other things, called for a redesign of MURs and practical steps to establish a national minor ailments service.
Jeannette Howe, Department of Health head of pharmacy, told the APPG the Government “hasn’t sat back and waited for a response” to Murray and is “actively progressing” changes to pharmacy practice using the Pharmacy Integration Fund.
“I would expect the Murray review will feed into future discussions around community pharmacy services,” she said.
The comments from the civil servants were met with a storm of criticism from pharmacists, with some accusing NHS England of burying the review because it didn’t produce the answers the commissioner wanted. Others questioned why NHS England was spending money on reviews, such as Murray and Call to Action, only to ignore the findings.
The Murray review has already been taken into account