Calls for community pharmacy ‘forward view'

The primary care lobbying group New NHS Alliance has called for a community pharmacy ‘forward view’.

A paper published by the organisation, ‘Supporting the development of community pharmacy practice within primary care‘, argues that the NHS needs clinical pharmacists within a community pharmacy setting and a strategy for community pharmacy to deliver its potential. It notes that there is no community pharmacy-led Vanguard or PM Challenge Fund programmes.

Dr Mark Spencer, co-chair, New NHS Alliance, says: “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 community pharmacists 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.”

New NHS Alliance says it wants to bring “a balance” to the discussion about the future development of pharmacy services by emphasising how high street pharmacy provision can enhance patient care within a multifaceted integrated model.

Among the paper’s recommendations:

• 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 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.

We must recognise community pharmacy is a professional clinical retail healthcare environment

 

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