System leadership

As part of NHS England’s continued commitment to integrating pharmacy into primary care, we are launching a new programme of work to integrate pharmacy and medicines optimisation into Sustainable Transformation Partnerships (STP) and Integrated Care Systems (ICS). We want pharmacy professionals working in Clinical Commissioning Groups; acute, mental health and community trusts; community pharmacy and general practice to come together and integrate with STP and ICS work programmes. To support this we will soon be setting out the principles for integration and for realising the benefits, and working with areas to test different models for integration.

Setting the example for joint working, NHS England and NHS Improvement have co-produced this programme to help to meet the challenges of the Medicines Value Programme.

This year, we commissioned a survey of pharmacy leaders to help inform the principles for pharmacy and medicines system leadership. In order to understand what resource and infrastructure is required to support integration, we are recruiting seven STP/ICSs (one in each of the new NHS regions) to undertake a pilot of the framework principles. You can find out which STP/ICSs are involved in the pilots in this blog post. The pilots will act as case studies, demonstrating the necessary requirements for all STP/ICSs in terms of medicines and pharmacy leadership, as well as highlighting barriers and enablers and sharing best practice.

We will then refine the principles, working closely with the pilot areas, and share the learning across the country. In 2018 and 2019 we are planning a series of events to showcase the work of the pilots as this develops.

Joined up working across the system will integrate the new roles for pharmacy created by Pharmacy Integration Fund, such as within Integrated Urgent Care and Care Homes, with traditional roles in community and hospital to create a whole system approach to medicines optimisation.

The full details of the programme can be found here: Integrating NHS pharmacy and medicines optimisation into Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and Integrated Care Systems.