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‘My 5-point plan for funding community pharmacy’s future’

"We need to integrate pharmacy into hospital aftercare plans"

Contractor Umesh Solanki shares his vision for how pharmacy could help the NHS to be more efficient

Approaching negotiations for a new pharmacy contract for England presents an opportunity for community pharmacists to reduce NHS pressures, costs and patient readmissions to hospital. To make sure community can help address the shortfall, I propose that:

  1. In England, the money from the Pharmacy Integration Fund should be used to train community pharmacists as independent prescribers.
  2. We must continue to support NHS England’s efforts to re-educate the public and promote community pharmacies as the first port of call for all patients with non-urgent illnesses or health issues
  3. For urgent cases, patients need to embrace the NHS 111 service, which can refer patients to community pharmacies, as NHS England goes ahead with plans to roll the initiative out nationally. This promotes community pharmacists’ ability to recommend an over-the-counter treatment, provide advice and reassurance, or use their newly acquired prescribing skills to prescribe NHS medication to treat the illness. Pharmacies can also signpost patients to other services when required.
  4. We need to integrate community pharmacy into the care plans patients receive when they are discharged from hospital. We could liaise with district nurses and carers, and sort out any issues to do with discharge medication, the provision of monitored dosage systems, medication deliveries or medicines use reviews. Community pharmacists know that housebound or recently discharged patients often need the most help with their medication, so this would help reduce hospital readmissions.
  5. Lastly, we must be able to use the summary care record’s read and write capabilities fully. We could then carry out routine clinical reviews on non-complex patients, freeing up GPs’ time so they can concentrate on patients with more complex conditions.

This vision, I believe, will make the best use of the skills of community pharmacists to reduce NHS pressures.

In addition, it will reduce the NHS bill. Of course, NHS England will have to pay pharmacists more for these additional services, but this would be far less than the cost of patients attending A&E.

Umesh Solanki is the owner of Holmfield Chemist in Ripley, Derbyshire


I'm not sure how this is a plan for funding.

PARESH shah, Community pharmacist

First of all the message of reducing pharmacy numbers should be off the agenda. One message from NHS England to the public is to go and visit the pharmacy for minor conditions but the message to the pharmacy family is we want to close pharmacies. Simon Dukes has to put down red lines and ensure before any negotiations start this message of reducing numbers is off the agenda.

Also i think the profession would like to discuss the new format of the contract before it is agreed.PSNC PLEASE NOTE.




david williams, Community pharmacist

that should be source-sorry

david williams, Community pharmacist

Umesh has very good ideas. However, he needs to reference his sourse. I suggest

Scottish government et al 2013 and Welsh Government et al 2016

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

All is well, but why no vision for any additional funding??

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