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CCA calls for action on key elements needed to deliver NHS plans for pharmacy

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CCA calls for action on key elements needed to deliver NHS plans for pharmacy

The Company Chemists Association has identified four commitments that, if combined, it says have the potential to transform patient care through community pharmacies.

“Since the NHS Long-Term Plan in 2019, various policy commitments point to a ‘blueprint’ for community pharmacy in England,” says the CCA. “Each commitment can be considered as a single piece needed to complete the puzzle. Unless all pieces of the puzzle are put together, the transformation of community pharmacy will be incomplete."

The four major pieces of the puzzle identified by the CCA are:

  • Building on education and training reforms to increase the size and capability of the workforce.
  • Expanding the number of clinical services commissioned and delivered in community pharmacy.
  • Introducing digital enablers which underpin service delivery.
  • Introducing legislative changes to increase capacity and allow the delivery of more patient-facing clinical care.

“The challenges in the sector are significant. Historic underfunding, a continued workforce crisis and continued delays in the rollout of promised efficiencies have created a perfect storm. We still need action for the ‘here and now’, otherwise the pharmacy network will continue to deteriorate,” said Malcolm Harrison, CCA chief executive.

The CCA has welcomed recent announcement such as the Primary Care Recovery Plan and the NHS Workforce Plan, but says the focus must turn to implementation otherwise landmark opportunities such as independent prescribing will not be fully grasped.

The Association is calling for careful planning and partnership working between policy makers and the pharmacy sector. It wants clear goals and milestones enabling the impact of changes to patients to be measured and pharmacy businesses to assess the cost and benefit, to support further investment, and timely and effective implementation which addresses the scale and urgency of patient and NHS need.

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