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RPS: Integration fund could be 'silver lining' of cuts

Sandra Gidley: We should think of the fund more positively

English pharmacy board chair Sandra Gidley says the government fund has potential to be good for the sector

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has urged pharmacists to view the government's pharmacy integration fund as a "silver lining" and a chance to shape services they provide in the future. 

Sandra Gidley, chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board, told C+D that the £300 million fund – which is designed to integrate pharmacy into the NHS and other care settings by 2021 – could be positive for the sector.

The fund was announced by the government on December 17, alongside its plans to cut pharmacy funding by 6%.

"December 17 was a bad day for pharmacy and you’ve got to look for the silver lining,” Ms Gidley said. “It’s up to the RPS to say, 'Here are some things you should be doing’. It isn’t always the DH that has the good ideas.”

“It’s good for people to be given a chance to reshape the profession,” she added. “We are rarely given an opportunity to work jointly with other professions and we should be thinking of [the integration fund] more positively.”

A lack of detail

However, Ms Gidley stressed that the RPS is still concerned that “not that much” of the integration fund would find its way to pharmacy services. “It is hard to progress as we have had no detail and it is very frustrating,” she said.

Earlier this week, the RPS called for the integration fund to be used to enable pharmacists to provide more direct care to patients with stable long-term conditions, as well as making the sector the "first point of contact for urgent care". 

Pharmacists should "lead the bids" for the funding, on behalf on multi-disciplinary teams, it added. 


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Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Well it's a drop in the ocean £20million and not focussed on pharmacy. I think the aspirations for clinical pharmacy in retail is forlorne hope, yesterday I noticed that I had the first emergency contraception patient come to my minor illness clinic at the GP practice I work in as the council has puled the funding locally for pharmacy EHC.

As for long term management of chronic conditions in retail then forget it. I get MURs sent to me from retail telling me that the prescribing recommendation of hospital consultants are wrong, well as fas as the GPs concerned they are ok.

Community pharmacy is a real disater at the moment.

Ghengis Pharm, Locum pharmacist

"It isn’t always the DH that has the good ideas.” Really?  They've had some?  Words fail me, RPS.  When can we shut you down and start again with a real body to represent our profession.



Brian Austen, Senior Management

It could be positive for the sector but its unlikely! There is only £20 million available from the fund for the whole NHS in the first year.

H Gokul, Community pharmacist

Is RPS or pharmacists? Are the in this world? Are the looking for knighthoods in the silver lining? 

These people do not serve the the pharmacist. Please do not make statements that are inflammatory to pharmacists. These ideas of working with other professionals will make the pharmacists poodles of the doctors.

RPS does not represent pharmacists.


Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

Problem is how the Pharmacists will be retrained and transitioned into these new roles. I suspect , that just like mutiples in community pharmacy, individual pharmacists IP will be pimped by large commercially motivated companies.

Pupinder Ghatora, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Big time April Fool!  RPS is blowing more hot air than ususal.

Dave Downham, Manager

April Fool?

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