Simon Dukes, PSNC Chief Executive said:
“It is good to see more of what the NHS, community pharmacy’s key customer, wants to achieve in the long-term and how it plans to get there. The crucial thing for pharmacy now is to work out how it fits into this, and our next step will be to work with the NHS and HM Government to explore what community pharmacy’s contribution to the plan will be. We are ready to begin those conversations, and with the NHS now clear on its own ten-year plan, we want to begin negotiations on a similar long-term plan for community pharmacy, setting out how pharmacies can do more, working closely with primary care colleagues, for the benefit of the NHS and patients.
“We are pleased that NHS England is committed to making greater use of community pharmacists’ skills and look forward to working with them to ensure that this happens. In our contributions to the NHS plan we and the other pharmacy organisations set out a range of ideas for how pharmacies could be used to help deliver on the key ambitions of the NHS – including case-finding and medication reviews – and we will continue to work together to make the case for those and to explore how they can be implemented.
“Community pharmacies ensure that millions of patients safely receive the medicines they need when they need them. But we know that for community pharmacy to make a real contribution to this plan we will need to see transformative change in the sector, shifting our funding from a focus on the dispensing of medicines to patient care, and freeing up pharmacists’ time to offer more clinical services to patients. PSNC has been pressing for reform of community pharmacy’s reimbursement arrangements for a number of years so we are keen to begin discussions on this. Our ambition is to work with HM Government on a multi-year settlement for community pharmacy, setting out what pharmacies are working to achieve and what money will be available for doing so, and helping the sector to move towards a future in which pharmacies are fairly rewarded for providing a range of clinical services that benefit patients and the NHS.
“As well as this national work, there will be much to do at a local level to ensure that community pharmacy is involved in the development of Primary Care Networks and Integrated Care Systems. We will continue to work closely with LPCs to ensure that they have the skills and the tools that they need to lead that difficult local engagement and leadership work.”