Sir Kevin Barron (right) wrote to the health minister Steve Brine urging him to discuss pharmacy's role in long-term conditions during its settlement talks with the PSNC.

Sir Kevin Barron, the chairman of the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG), has written to the health minister Steve Brine urging him to implement the recommendations of its report which calls for a greater role for community pharmacy in the care of people with long-term conditions.

In his letter Barron indicated the proposals in the report, published today following the APPG’s inquiry into long-term conditions, should form the basis of the government’s negotiations with the PSNC on the sector’s contractual framework, a date for which has not yet been decided.

In the report the APPG calls for:

• Patients with one or more condition to have access to a care plan which would give them control over how their condition is managed complete with goals for treatment and regular review progress with a healthcare professional. Community pharmacy, the APPG said, “is ideally placed to provide the service.”
• Pharmacists to be given full read/write access to patient records and for contracts and incentives for different providers to be aligned as part of contractual negotiations.
• A national service specification for pharmacy services for long-term conditions with effective signposting in place and commissioning from clinical commissioning groups.
• Innovative community pharmacy services to be commissioned at a national level once their effectiveness and value for money has been demonstrated at a local level.

“This report’s recommendations will create a context in which services can be developed to improve outcomes for people with long term conditions,” Barron said.

“These recommendations should not delay or replace negotiations on the community pharmacy contract but our expectation is that the government will enter negotiations with these recommendations firmly in mind.”

The APPG, which receives financial support from the PSNC, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, National Pharmacy Association and Company Chemists Association, said it wanted to see the proposals in place by 2020 at the latest.