The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) also suggested pharmacies across England should be commissioned to provide smoking cessation services, blood pressure measurement, and hypertension and atrial fibrillation identification.
Pharmacies could also offer nationally commissioned NHS health checks with “more follow-up of patients [and] personalised wellbeing plans”, PSNC added.
Plans for a service-based pharmacy contract “were originally developed in 2017, and did not include proposals for nationally-commissioned urgent care or public health services”, PSNC said in an update from its October committee meeting published on Wednesday (November 7).
“At that time, NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) saw commissioning of such services as local, not national priorities,” it added.
As part of its original service development proposals, PSNC suggested the new medicine service (NMS) should be “repurposed” as an essential service, and potentially expanded to also deal with depression.
“Work to develop a new NHS long-term plan and discussions with NHS England officials have highlighted a new focus on both these areas,” PSNC said.
2019-20 negotiations yet to start
PSNC is yet to begin negotiations for the 2019-20 funding settlement, but has told C+D it will propose a service-based contract to the DH.
On Monday, the DH said community pharmacies will play a stronger role in its plans to make prevention “an integral part” of its long-term strategy for the NHS.
Last month, NHS England’s head of pharmacy commissioning Dr Jill Loader said the “direction of travel” for community pharmacy in England is towards “urgent care and wellbeing, which are critical to supporting the rest of the NHS”.