Independent Review of Community Pharmacy Clinical Services

The Independent Review of Community Pharmacy Clinical Services commissioned by the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer of NHS England in April 2016 to help inform him about the future provision of clinical pharmacy services.

NHS England intends to use the recommendations of the independent review to inform its approach to the commissioning of NHS community pharmacy services once the review recommendations have been properly considered.

Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, said: “This is a useful report which, following a comprehensive review of the available evidence, points the way to a more clinical future for community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians which will help patients to benefit from their expertise as clinical healthcare professionals. The NHS locally and nationally will want to consider many of the ideas the report lays out.”

The independent review, chaired by Richard Murray of the King’s Fund, was commissioned following the opportunity presented by publication of the Five Year Forward View in October 2014 and the General Practice Forward View in April 2016, both of which set out proposals for the future of the NHS based around the new models of care.

The need for an in-depth pharmacy review was determined by the present context in which pharmacy operates:

  • The changing patient and population needs for healthcare, in particular the demands of an ageing population with multiple long term conditions.
  • Emerging models of pharmaceutical care provision from the UK and internationally.
  • The evidence of sub-optimal outcomes from medicines in primary care settings.
  • The need to improve value through integration of pharmacy and clinical pharmaceutical skills into patient pathways and the emerging new care models.

The review examines the evidence base of the clinical elements of the current Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework and other clinical services. It makes recommendations for commissioning models and clinical pharmacy services aimed at ensuring community pharmacy is better integrated with primary care and making far greater use of community pharmacy and pharmacists.

The review takes account of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and Pharmacy Voice’s Community Pharmacy Forward View which provided a very helpful overview of the service areas community pharmacy providers have identified for development; an independent review of the evidence surrounding the effectiveness of clinical pharmacy services and the independent Nuffield Trust’s Now More Than Ever: Why Pharmacy Needs to Act report which highlighted the need to enable community pharmacists to take on new roles in patient care and become better integrated into the NHS.