Five months after publishing its “ambitious” vision for community pharmacy, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and Pharmacy Voice, with the support of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's (RPS) English pharmacy board, have called on the government, the NHS and public health bodies to commit to a “shared vision” for the sector.
The ‘Making it happen’ document – published today (January 19) – outlines six ways in which community pharmacy leaders, frontline teams and their local partners can put the Community Pharmacy Forward View into practice.
It aims to “provide a roadmap for delivering” both the Forward View, and the independent 'Murray' review into pharmacy clinical services, PSNC and Pharmacy Voice said.
“Richard Murray, rightly, identifies a need [for closer working relationships] to be struck between the sector, policy makers and local national partners,” the two organisations said.
“We are meeting our side of the bargain. We now ask for a commitment in return from national partners in government and the NHS.”
According to the report, to realise the three core roles for community pharmacy in the future, the sector needs to do six things:
Raise awareness …of community pharmacy services with the public, and strengthen relationships with service users.
Build partnerships…across the health and care system.
Harness technology...and secure digital integration.
Empower the workforce…to develop their skills and work effectively within new structures and cultures.
Manage change…and proactively support and facilitate development across community pharmacy.
Establish new ways of working…which are supported through appropriate funding and contract mechanisms.
Pharmacy Voice, PSNC and the RPS have produced a number of "implementation pathways" of suggested ways of making these goals a reality.
"Serious and joined up" plan
Sandra Gidley, RPS England pharmacy board chair, said the report shows “the sector is both serious and joined up about the future for community pharmacy”.
“Given the context of cuts to the community pharmacy budget and ever-growing pressure within the NHS, it’s vital that this vision is translated into a plan that can be delivered,” she added.
PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton said despite the funding cuts, pharmacy bodies will continue “to hold the NHS and government to account for the future they have promised us.”
Some of the suggestions made in the joint report “feel achievable now”, he added.
Pharmacy Voice director of policy Elizabeth Wade added: “This has been a difficult year for community pharmacy. With this plan we now have a starting point for a different conversation in 2016-17 and beyond.
“We hope the government and the NHS will accept our invitation to join [the conversation].”
The pharmacy bodies have asked for feedback on the report, as well as examples of how pharmacies have better integrated into local health and care systems.
You can read the full report and feed back here