The success of the Call to Action consultation should be judged on its promotion of the sector rather than whether it results in a policy document, PSNC has said.
NHS England promised in March to publish a primary care strategy that would take account of the responses to its consultation. But the commissioning body told C+D last week (November 25) that "everything" about its strategy had already been included in its Five Year Forward View document, published in October, which does not mention the consultation and refers specifically to pharmacy only four times.
Ms Sharpe told C+D yesterday (December 3) that she "couldn't give a fig" whether NHS England produced "another policy paper that sits on the shelf". Instead, she was more concerned with the "brilliant" way the consultation had helped people "get the message" about pharmacy.
"Would it have been nice to get a specific response? Yes, if [NHS England] came up with the right response," she said. "[But] we've got all the data, all that commitment. What's important is what we do [with] it," she said.
It was "way too early" for the sector to judge "what we got out of" the consultation process, Ms Sharpe stressed. There had been a "tremendous response" from the sector to the consultation and Ms Sharpe had "absolutely no doubt" that pharmacists' contributions had provided a "massive resource" for NHS England to draw on, she added.
In April, NHS England said it had been "overwhelmed" by more than 800 responses to the consultation for pharmacy. Clare Howard, NHS England's deputy chief pharmaceutical officer at the time, said pharmacists' submissions would be independently evaluated and reported back to the team working on the body's community pharmacy strategy.
Earlier this week, LPCs slammed NHS England for wasting their time after the commissioning body revealed it had already published the results of its Call to Action consultation for pharmacy in a document that barely mentions the sector.