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Five-year NHS strategy only mentions pharmacy twice

NHS England plans to “support community pharmacy reform”, according to the document, but does not specify what that will involve

NHS England has released a plan to transform care over the next five years that only mentions pharmacists twice.

The Delivering the Forward View document, released yesterday (December 22), makes reference to the role of pharmacists in GP practices and improving primary care productivity by “supporting community pharmacy reform”.

But there is no mention of what the reform will entail in the document, designed to help the NHS achieve the goals set out in last year's Five Year Forward View.

The original document outlined a vision for pharmacists to form large-scale primary care practices with GPs and pledged to make “far greater use” of the profession.

This week's update stresses the importance of “balancing” the NHS budget in realising the plans, which aim to give 20% of the population “enhanced access” to primary care by March 2017. They also include improving access to primary care at weekends and evenings.

But it makes no mention of using community pharmacies to achieve this vision.

The document makes 13 references to GPs and three to nurses.

In June, NHS England’s deputy chief pharmaceutical officer Bruce Warner told C+D that pharmacy has a “huge role to play” in NHS England’s plans for the future.


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