The all-party pharmacy group (APPG) has called on the next government to commission two national pharmacy services within its first 100 days in power.
The government elected in May must commission pharmacies across England to provide minor ailments and flu jab schemes by August, the APPG said in a manifesto for politicians published today (March 9).
The parliamentary group also recommended broadening the scope of MURs and the new medicine service to reach more patients with long-term conditions.
To support these plans, the government would need to agree “outcome-based funding” for the sector that both protected the core dispensing service and provided incentives for pharmacists to deliver new services on a “sustainable, long-term basis”, the APPG stressed.
The group also called for a more consistent approach to local commissioning of pharmacy services. Templates for smoking cessation, weight management, alcohol and sexual health services should be developed to help commissioners meet the needs of their populations, it said.
The APPG recommended an analysis of the “level and quality” of engagement between pharmacists and local commissioners, which would ensure pharmacists’ expertise was being used to help reach decisions across the country.
APPG chair Kevin Barron MP told C+D that the new government should put “enormous pressure” on NHS England to make better use of pharmacy services.
The APPG also urged the government to commit to the following goals to help pharmacy reach its potential:
- Giving all pharmacies read-only access to patient records by April 2016, and read-write access by April 2017
- Decriminalising dispensing errors by April 2016
- Launching a “scoping exercise” into the benefits of a national scheme for community pharmacists to create care plans for hospital discharge patients. A decision on rolling out the service should be made by April 2016
- Establishing a system to monitor medicines in the supply chain and publishing new guidance for manufacturers on setting quotas to curb stock shortages
Click here to read the full manifesto.