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Pharmacy services review will inform contract negotiations

NHS England’s ongoing review of services will inform future negotiations over the community pharmacy contract, the commissioner has said.

The wide-ranging review – commissioned by England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge to advise him on how pharmacy services can be “modernised” – will ensure NHS England has the “information and recommendations when we’re planning for the future, especially contract negotiations”, said the organisation’s assistant head of primary care Dr Jill Loader.

The review – being led by Richard Murray, director of policy for think tank the King’s Fund – should “inform and develop our thinking around clinical roles going forward”, Dr Loader added.

She also acknowledged “how unsettling” the delays to the announcement of the sector’s funding has been for pharmacists.

“We completely recognise how long the unsettling period has gone on [for],” she told delegates at the Pharmacy Show in Birmingham on Monday (September 26).

An national minor ailments scheme?

Speaking at the same event, Boots UK chief pharmacist Marc Donovan said he hopes the services review will lead to a national minor ailments scheme.

“I believe minor ailments as a national service would be a great benefit to community pharmacy, and certainly pharmacy can embrace that,” Mr Donovan said.

Well chief executive John Nuttall also stressed that he is “an advocate of nationally commissioned services”. “It is a good way for multiples to engage with the 150-plus clinical commissioning groups across the country.”

“I hope Keith Ridge considers this – in particular minor ailments, which should happen across the country,” Mr Nuttal added.

At the time of going to press, NHS England was unable to confirm when its services review would be completed.

 

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