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Theresa May reveals national scheme pairing pharmacists and care homes

Theresa May announced the scheme's rollout yesterday (credit: Alexandros Michailidis)

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the rollout of a national scheme to assign teams including pharmacists to care homes to provide “personalised care” to residents.

Teams of healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and GPs, will be assigned to care homes, "where they will get to know individual residents' needs and provide tailored treatment and support", as well as offer emergency care out of hours, Ms May revealed in an announcement yesterday (November 21).

The national rollout follows a “successful pilot”, the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) said.

The scheme will funded with part of a "major new investment" in primary and community healthcare, which the DH claimed will be "worth £3.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023-4".

Commenting on this investment yesterday, Ms May said the “major boost in funding…will give more patients a genuine and high-quality alternative to hospital”.

"Many of us might assume that hospital is the safest place to be – but in reality many patients would be much better off being cared for in the community," she added.

C+D has asked the DH for more details of the care home scheme.

What do you make of Theresa May's announcement?

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Groups of GPs and pharmacists will be assigned to care homes, and can offer out of hours emergency care. The devil's in the detail, but I'm not sure I'd like to be assigned to anything and the out of hours care could mean being called into work at 5pm on a Sunday to find that care home staff have forgotten to order Mrs Smith's Simvastatin and need it "now" 



Graham Morris, Design

Talk cash first before enthusiasm!

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Only pharmacists like to tie their own hands behind their backs before entering negotiations and then wonder why it went pear shaped afterwards. Scratching their heads wondering how they're now doing more work but for less money.

Chris Locum, Locum pharmacist

They did that with the 'new contact' more than ten years ago. Sign at the bottom, and we will fill in some of the missing 'details'. More work, less remuneration and no control over pharmacists produced the situation we now have. The final nail in the CP coffin, changing the definition of 'supervision' and who is in charge.

Abid P, Primary care pharmacist

So when will she address the other equally important issues surrounding care homes, such as unsavory and risky business practices by owners, rising operating costs, cuts to funding by local authorities, lack of suitably trained staff, unsuitable living arrangements....I can go on.

Dave Downham, Manager

Will these be clinical pharmacists or the lesser spotted common or garden doling out prescriptions pharmacists?

Ha. They will not be the soon to be (very) lesser spotted variety. These are dying out due to erosion of habitat.

This, potentially, signals more rewarding, enduring and secure future employment for pharmacists. Pharmacy is changing - some may say for the better some may say the opposite - but it is changing.

Assuming this isn't "fake news" and it would have been nice to see more details -these jobs give us the prospect of a brighter future for those that want to move into pastures new. Good luck everyone.

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

I suggest people wait to see what sort of salaries these 'new' pharmacists will be earning before breaking out the champagne. Pharmacists typically get so excited at any new announcement only to realise down the line they actually got shafted. Theresa May is a politician and they tend not to be the most accurate of customers when it comes to the telling the truth.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I suspect disingenuous comments by using a simple tell. This tell? The politician in question has their mouth open.

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