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NHS England’s most senior doctors today welcomed the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s “Future Models of Care” report, setting out the much wider role pharmacists can and should play in treating and advising patients.
NHS England is currently working with patients and clinicians across the country to set out how the NHS should be organised in future years across all its services, to make sure it continues to keep everyone as well as possible, for as long as possible.
The report again demonstrates the clear consensus across the clinical community that much more can be done in patients’ own communities to keep them healthy, intervene early in any potential problems, and avoid the crises that lead to emergency hospital admission, especially for the growing number of people who suffer from a number of different long-term conditions .
NHS England’s National Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said: “I welcome this timely report and fully recognise the important contribution that pharmacists and their teams across the country make every day to caring for patients.
“We have growing evidence that patients understand their community pharmacy is a convenient and accessible place for treatment and advice such as smoking cessation or flu immunisation. I am also well aware that community pharmacy could and should play an important part in delivering a new approach to urgent and emergency care by freeing up capacity in other parts of the NHS, and I will soon be publishing the interim findings of my in-depth review into urgent and emergency care.
Earlier this year the RPS also published principles of medicines optimisation – the individual and overall management of patients’ medicines to make sure they are taking the best combinations for their unique needs, and that they are taking them properly. Sir Bruce is working together with the Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer to help pharmacy professionals, working closely with patients and others, will do much more to ensure individual patients have the most effective medicines regimes for their own unique needs, particularly for managing long-term conditions.
Dr Martin McShane, Director for Long-Term Conditions, said: “As part of its approach to transforming primary care, NHS England is working with partners to develop a call to action for community pharmacy and the contents of the report will be considered alongside the response to that.
“Our work to improve the quality of life for people with long term conditions absolutely recognises how valuable pharmacists are in helping people manage their conditions in the community to avoid being admitted to hospital unnecessarily. We will work with the RPS and our senior pharmacists in NHS England to make sure that pharmacists are place at the right points in the care pathway”