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Two emergency care pilot sites to work with pharmacists

A quarter of the eight areas unveiled by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens say they will include the sector in their new models of urgent care

Two of NHS England's “vanguard” emergency care sites have confirmed they will work with community pharmacists.

The commissioning body last week (July 24) revealed the details of the eight pilot sites, which it said would each “spearhead” new ways to deliver urgent care with support from NHS England’s £200 million transformation fund.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough clinical commissioning group (CCG) - one of the organisations chosen by NHS England - would develop the role of community pharmacy as a way to “provide highly-responsive emergency care outside of hospital, NHS England said.

Pharmacists in the area would form part of a wider workforce of GPs and nurses who would promote self-management and “help people with urgent care needs get the right advice first time”, it said.

Another pilot site in South Devon and Torbay would also use the sector as part of its strategy to develop new urgent care facilities, prioritising areas of high deprivation, NHS England said.

A vanguard site in Barking, Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge believed patients were “confused by the many urgent and emergency care services available to them”, including pharmacy, NHS England said. The commissioning body said services in these areas would be “streamlined”, but did not mention any plans to specifically include community pharmacy in this process.

"Many" sites will consider pharmacy

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English Pharmacy Board chair Sandra Gidley said “many” of the pilot sites would be “exploring how to include pharmacy in their urgent care networks”.
“I would encourage pharmacists - especially those working in the eight vanguard sites - to use this opportunity to show how much we already do and what more is possible,” she said today (July 27).
NHS England said the establishment of the vanguard sites was the latest step in its review of urgent care services. This would result in care being delivered “not just in hospitals, but also by GPs, pharmacists, community teams, ambulance services, NHS 111, social care and others”, it added.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said that, “starting today”, the health service would “begin joining the often confusing array” of urgent care services “so that patients know where they can get urgent help easily and effectively, seven days a week”.

In March, three of the organisations selected by NHS England to trial expanded GP practices said they planned to work with community pharmacists.

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