Pharmacists can now access NHS strategy tool to plan service delivery
Community pharmacists in England now have access to a new tool, the SHAPE (Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation) Atlas, a “web-enabled, evidence-based application that informs and supports the strategic planning of services across a health economy”.
Announcing the launch at the Pharmacy Show on Sunday, Yeyenta Osasu, national pharmacy integation lead for the Community Pharmacy Blood Pressure Check Service at NHS England, said that data from the CPBPS has been added to the Atlas, which enables a user to see the hypertension prevalence in an area.
“You can identify the community pharmacists in an area who are actively providing the service, how many patients have been seen in the preceding month, helping to target the top 20 per cent in deprived areas," she said. "This is a real population health approach to identify where the need is greatest.”
The SHAPE Atlas will be available to pharmacists, commissioners, GPs, local government and public health. Pharmacists with an nhs.net account will be able to open an account at shapeatlas.net, explore the data, and access training on how to use it.
NHS England is also intended to explore a communities of practice approach to further development, as learning communities in a couple of ICS areas, where resources, challenges and solutions will be shared, using the CPBPC service as a starting point, to drive up cardiovascular disease prevention. Pharmacists can email firstname.lastname@example.org to express an interest.
Ms Osasu said that, according to data at the end of July, 4626 community pharmacies had performed 346,290 BP checks on 339,032 patients. Some 13 per cent of opportunistic checks revealed BP results that were considered high (between 140/90 and 181/121), 25 per cent of patients were followed up with ambulatory BP checks and 1720 patients eventually referred to their GP.
Earlier in the session, NHS England head of pharmacy integration Anne Joshua explained how community pharmacists were already contributing to the NHS’s CORE20plus5 health inequalities programme – the 20 per cent most deprived population in an area, plus key clinical areas of health inequalities – maternity services, severe mental illness, chronic respiratory disease, early cancer diagnosis and hypertension care finding.
These include not only just via the CPBPC service, commissioned nationally, but through nationally commissioned smoking cessation, but what is resonating with integrated care boards is the realisation that community pharmacy has a service model that can be added to, Ms Joshua said.
Looking at prevention in the context of addressing health inqualities, she said that blood pressure checks was one example of a service contributing to detecting metabolic risk, in some areas ICBs have added other services, atrial fibrillation or hypercholesterolaemia check, after seeing how community pharmacies are delivering on the national service.
On behavioural risk factors, the Pharmacy Quality Scheme now includes work on referrals into weight management services and the smoking cessation services, which is currently being rolled out, although Ms Joshua recognised that rollout was proceeding very slowly through to March 2024. A new pilot is now looking at offering that service to the other household members where there is a pregnancy.
On early detection, NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard had announced the cancer referral pathways for ‘red flags’; four Cancer Alliances are about to start rolling that out, working with community pharmacy to determine the best way to do that.