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New NHS Alliance calls for community pharmacy ‘forward view’

June 21, 2016

A new paper, published today by New NHS Alliance: “Supporting the Development of Community Pharmacy Practice within Primary Care” argues that community pharmacy in England, with approaching 11,700 pharmacies, represents health on the high street and within our communities.

The NHS needs clinical pharmacists within general practice, urgent care and out of hours, nursing homes and many other multidisciplinary teams. But, New NHS Alliance argues, the NHS also needs clinical pharmacists within a community pharmacy setting and a strategy for community pharmacy to deliver its potential.

New NHS Alliance pharmacy lead, Mark Robinson, says: “There is no community pharmacy led Vanguard or PM challenge fund programs despite Simon Stevens’ assurance that we ‘need to take action on four fronts’:

  • Tackle the root causes of ill health
  • Give patients more control of their own care
  • Change to meet the needs of an aging population, living longer with long term conditions and wanting their care to focus around them
  • Deliver new models of care.”

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 the community pharmacist 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.

“We must also recognise the pharmacy’s unique position within the community and their ability to reduce demand within general practice as part of the solution to the crisis within general practice. The NHS Alliance would therefore like to bring a balance to the discussion about the future development of pharmacy services by emphasizing how high street pharmacy provision can enhance patient care within a multi-facetted integrated model.”

The paper recommends:

  • 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 play a lead role in ensuring that complete pathways of care are commissioned that avoid duplication of effort
  • 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
  • Directors of Public Health, CCG commissioning leads, GPs and community pharmacy representatives should create a local plan to support community pharmacies in delivering a consistent public health message and associated services to their catchment population.

Notes to Editors 

For more information please contact Sophie Lap at sophie.lap@salixandco.com or on 07725 555 030

New NHS Alliance is a movement of people and organisations who are committed to building a sustainable, community-based health service. They are an entirely solutions focused organisation, unique in its approach bringing together more than 10,000 passionate individuals and organisations across primary care who believe innovation, connections and integration are key to the sustainability of a health service that remains free to all at the point of need. New NHS Alliance promote greater collaboration between organisations within the NHS and between the NHS, communities, local authorities, innovative enterprises and other local enablers of prevention and health creation.