Pharmacy can relieve pressure on hospitals

Community pharmacy can and should have an important role in out-patient support so as to relieve pressure on hospitals. This was the message from Lord Carter’s report into the performance of England’s hospitals.

The Government-commissioned report, Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations, refers to the significant potential in the dispensing of medication during the patient discharge process and claims that greater community pharmacy involvement would be “cost-effective” and “improve efficiency and enhance the patient experience”.

Rob Darracott, chief executive for Pharmacy Voice, said of the announcement: “This report once again identifies the potential of community pharmacy to improve efficiency across the NHS, while simultaneously improving the patient experience. I completely agree with these conclusions. Unfortunately, this suggested expansion of our role arrives while the sector is still working through the ramifications of the proposed cuts to its NHS funding on maintaining existing services.”

Commenting further, he said: “This report is full of good ideas and sends an unambiguous message to Government about the potential of community pharmacy. With the various pressures facing the NHS, now is the time to realise that potential and back community pharmacy – not cut its funding.”

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