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NHS England is seeking the opinion of the community pharmacy sector in the next round of the national ‘Call to Action’ about the future shape of the NHS England will be consulting with pharmacists, their teams and, employees as well as the broader healthcare sector on their opinions and thoughts on how to help shape the future of Primary Care.
Community pharmacy is recognised as a key frontline health service which provides healthcare, expert advice about medicines, as an effective alternative to many over-subscribed primary care services such as local GP practices. Pharmacists add value as an important triage not just to the GPs but to emergency services. In addition, community pharmacy plays an important and expanding role in public health and reducing health inequalities.
NHS England is aware that the current system is unsustainable and that primary care services face increasing pressures. This next part of the Call to Action will engage with community pharmacists to see how together we can transform the way it provides services. This will in turn allow community pharmacists to work with general practice to play an even stronger role at the heart of more integrated out-of-hospital services that deliver better health outcomes. This forms part of the wider ‘The NHS belongs to the people: a call to action’ that NHS England launched on 11 July 2013.
Throughout our engagement with community pharmacists and other partners, we have heard how they want to transform the way it provides services to reflect pressures on the system. The main purpose of this community pharmacy Call to Action is to stimulate debate amongst those who work in the field (including support staff), CCGs, health and wellbeing boards, local authorities and other community partners, as how best to develop services that can be delivered by pharmacists and their teams in a community setting. During the consultation period we will be asking
- How community pharmacy can contribute more to out of hospital care
- How management of patients with long term conditions can be undertaken by pharmacists
- Given its accessibility on the high street, how best to use community pharmacy to support the public with healthy living advice
- High quality services can be delivered in community pharmacies that will improve efficiencies across the whole health care system
Clare Howard Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for NHS England said’ “We want community pharmacy to play an even stronger role at the heart of more integrated services. We are now developing an even greater understanding of the challenges that face Primary Care and how we must work differently to achieve sustainable change and support better health outcomes for patients, to provide more personalised care and deliver an excellent patient experience; this has to go hand in hand with the most efficient possible use of NHS resources. There is a great support from the profession as it understands the need for change. I am confident that the wider public discussion around the ‘Call to Action’ is also likely to generate many primary care-themed discussions and issues as well as potential solutions.”