Chemist + Druggist is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


Patient groups set out vision for ‘future role’ of community pharmacy

The leading coalition of health and social care charities in England has set out its vision for the “future role” of community pharmacy.

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) last week (19 January) published an account of a roundtable held in October in partnership with National Voices.


The meeting discussed the future development of community pharmacy services, preferred models of service delivery and patients’ priorities – and was “further evidence of service users’ support for a growing role for pharmacies”, the NPA said.


Read more: PSNC kicks off ‘proper discussions’ on Pharmacy First with DH


Attendees – including Diabetes UK, Asthma and Lung UK, and the Alzheimer’s Society - were asked questions about what they “like about community pharmacies” and what they “see as the future role for community pharmacies”.



“Potential” for greater service delivery


“Many health and care charities see potential for community pharmacists to offer more services,” the report said.


They could be “more fully deployed” to provide community-level care and support such as providing diagnostic tests and monitoring to help manage patients’ conditions, it added.


Read more: Medway pharmacies to offer NHS health checks in year-long pilot


Allergy UK said that one in three people in the UK has an allergy and that 95% of these could receive care and support at community level - with pharmacies “key” to this.


Likewise, representatives from Crohn’s and Colitis UK said that it would be “far more convenient” for patients if they could access home-use stool tests from community pharmacies rather than only via their GP.



"Friendly front door to the NHS”


The meeting also demonstrated a “favourable view of the potential of pharmacist independent prescribing”, which can “make pharmaceutical care far more convenient” for patients, according to the report.


Read more: 'High' patient confidence in independent prescribers, study shows


Attendees at the roundtable also discussed continuity of care, “trust” in pharmacies as the “friendly front door to the NHS” and the “informality” of the pharmacy environment improving access, as well as “digital approaches” to delivery of care, it added.


Digital approaches to delivery in pharmacy should put “patient choice” at the centre as “access to face-to-face care remains important for many people”, it said.


The meeting covered aspects of care for patients with long-term conditions such as continuity, for example those living with Alzheimer’s, and how pharmacists can provide a more personalised care to help patients better manage their conditions.


Continuity of care must be “formalised” and community pharmacies made a “key part” of primary care networks rather than “just an ‘extended’ part of the system”, the report said.



“Embed patient voices” in service design


Interim chief executive at National Voices Sarah Sweeney said the roundtable heard “how important it is for pharmacists to further embed patient voices in the design of their services”.


Pharmacists should also “work creatively with the voluntary sector to meet people’s health and care needs in holistic ways”, she added.


“Community pharmacists play such an important role in making health and care more accessible, supporting people with health conditions to feel in control and can play an important role in reducing health inequalities in their communities,” Ms Sweeney said.


Read more: Health inequalities: Time to see beyond words, accent or history, RPS says


NPA vice-chair Nick Kaye said the organisation was “grateful” to National Voices for convening the meeting on its behalf.



Clinical service development “stymied” by underfunding


“We already know from polling that the public values their community pharmacies and supports an expanding role within the NHS”, Mr Kaye said.


“However, this meeting was a deeper dive into the patient perspective on pharmacy developments,” he added.


Mr Kaye said it is “important to check in with patient representatives” to ensure that the sector’s ambitions are “neither too far ahead nor behind the wishes of service users”.


But he added that “unfortunately, the direction of travel towards integrated clinical services in pharmacies is being stymied by the ongoing underfunding of the sector in England”.


Read more: ‘Final straw’ as transitional payments to be cut to zero from February, PSNC says


The NPA pledged to feed the roundtable’s findings into the “various strategy and vision projects” currently underway in the sector, while National Voices will use the findings as part of its “wider investigation” into primary care, the NPA said.


Related Content


Pharmacist Manager
£30 per hour

Apply Now
Latest News & Analysis
See All



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts