Pharmacy clinical services review gets positive response

Professional bodies have welcomed the publication of an independent community pharmacy clinical services review from Richard Murray, director of policy at the King’s Fund.

Some key elements of the long-awaited report, which was comissioned by NHS England, include recommendations that:

  • Full use is made of electronic repeat dispensing as the default for repeat prescribing
  • Medicines use reviews to include ongoing monitoring and follow-up so they are an integral part of care pathways for patients with long-term conditions
  • NHS England sets out how it intends to deliver on its commitment that minor ailment schemes should be locally commissioned across England by April 2018
  • Consideration is given to smoking cessation services becoming an element of the national contract.

Other recommendations include:

  • Existing Vanguard programmes and resources are used, in conjunction with the Pharmacy Integration Fund, to develop the evidence base for community pharmacists within new models of care
  • Digital maturity and connectivity across the sector is improved to facilitate effective communication between community pharmacy and other healthcare teams
  • Regulations are amended to allow pharmacy technicians to work under patient group directions to help deliver clinical pharmacy services.

The report concludes that “there needs to be renewed efforts to make the most of the existing clinical services that community pharmacy can provide and to do so at pace. This may require national action through the national contractual framework, as well action at local level.”

Dr Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer, commented: “This is a useful report which... points the way to a more clinical future for community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The NHS locally and nationally will want to consider many of the ideas the report lays out.”

This report points the way to a more clinical future

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