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Pharmacy Voice reviews how sector can reduce winter pressure

Pharmacy Voice will look at how the sector can reduce winter A&E pressures, following calls by senior clinicians.

Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott told C+D it was clear from listening to NHS England medical director Bruce Keogh (see below), the first speaker of a King's Fund event last month (September 27), that pharmacists’ contributions “are at the front of the mind” for many people in the NHS.

“We need to make sure we are properly responding to the challenges from senior clinicians,” he said at the winter emergency care event. “I will be going away to look at the work the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) has done on co-location of primary care services,” he added.

Speaking to C+D at the same event, Clifford Mann, clinical lead for NHS England’s accident and emergency improvement plan, said having more pharmacy graduates working in emergency departments over weekends and during public holidays would help alleviate winter pressures on hospitals. 

Mr Darracott stressed that while the work the RCEM is doing is "clearly going places and bringing community pharmacy right into the heart of the emergency care system," there are other ways in which pharmacy can be part of this system.

“It would be nice to think there would be more investment in those over the coming winter," he added.

In the words of Sir Bruce Keogh

NHS England’s medical director Bruce Keogh gave the opening address at the conference. Here are some key quotes from his speech:

On care settings: “We’ve got to treat people as close to home as we can.”

“We need to improve the offer for people outside of hospitals – we are working on improving the availability of pharmacy services.”

On A&E attendances: “People with trivial conditions are attending A&E in the afternoon and evenings.”

“Young people expect immediate care – there is an increasing demand for urgent care.”

On patient records: “Information needs to travel with the patient.”

What role do you think pharmacy should play in emergency care?

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