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Ridge: ICS chief pharmacists ‘crucial’ to delivering medicines optimisation

Integrated Care System (ICS) chief pharmacists will be “crucial” to delivering the government’s revamped medicines optimisation programme, England’s outgoing chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge has said.

Speaking at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress last week (September 24), Dr Ridge told delegates that these roles, “whether you call them [ICS] clinical directors of pharmacy [or] chief pharmacists” will be a “lynchpin” of the national prescribing system.

“I’m hoping there’s going to be fair, open and transparent processes in order to make sure we get the right people in post,” Dr Ridge added.

It comes after NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHS&I) last week (September 22) published a review into the scope of NHS overprescribing, which was led by Dr Ridge.

Among other recommendations, the review suggested that a national clinical director for prescribing should lead “a funded programme of work in partnership with relevant national organisations to implement this review over the next three years”.

In July, NHSE&I confirmed that it was planning to transfer the responsibility for the commissioning of local pharmaceutical services to ICSs.

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