NHS England has “started conversations to make sure that the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), the National Pharmacy Association, the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies and others are on board with where our direction of travel is for community pharmacy”, Dr Jill Loader revealed earlier this month (October 7).
This direction includes “urgent care and wellbeing, which are critical to supporting the rest of the NHS”, Dr Loader said in response to a question from C+D at the Pharmacy Show in Birmingham.
The sector has a role in prevention, she added. She cited the example of healthy living pharmacies, which are “part of the local community and driving health promotion”.
Pharmacy also has a “critical role” in reducing medicines errors and “helping people to understand their medicines”, she said.
PSNC backs national stop smoking service
PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton, who spoke alongside Dr Loader on the panel at the Pharmacy Show, said a national smoking cessation service “could be commissioned” in England.
NHS England representatives have highlighted obesity, smoking and cardiovascular disease as priorities for the health service, Mr Buxton claimed.
“They are all areas where [pharmacy] can do something,” he added.
“The NHS stepping up and looking at some complimentary commissioning of that type would be welcomed by public health directors. It's prevention that will make the NHS sustainable in 10 years’ time.”
Pharmacy’s future in primary care networks
Dr Loader also stressed that community pharmacies will play an “important part” in a network of multidisciplinary primary care providers in the near future.
“We don't think primary care networks are just [centred] around a GP,” she said.
Mr Buxton said PSNC is “seeing advances [in] primary care networks across all areas of England”.
“We need to look at how community pharmacy can get involved as a true team member in all areas,” he said. “Primary care networks are an opportunity to get better quality through better teamwork.”