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CCA identifies four key pointers for delivering NHS pharmacy plans


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Since the introduction of the 2019 NHS Long-Term Plan, several policy commitments have surfaced, presenting a definitive ‘blueprint’ for community pharmacy in England. The Company Chemists Association has identified four crucial commitments that, when integrated, hold the potential to revolutionise patient care through community pharmacies.

“Each commitment is like a crucial piece of a puzzle,” CCA said. “For the transformation of patient access through community pharmacy to be successful, all these pieces must come together harmoniously. Otherwise, the picture will remain incomplete.”

The four major pieces of the puzzle coined by CCA include:

• Building on education and training reforms to increase the size and capability of the workforce.
• Expanding the number of clinical services commissioned and delivered in community pharmacy.
• Introducing digital enablers which underpin service delivery.
• Introducing legislative changes to increase capacity and allow the delivery of more patient-facing clinical care.

“The challenges in the sector are significant,” said Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA. “Historic underfunding, a continued workforce crisis and continued delays in the rollout of promised efficiencies have created a perfect storm. We still need action for the ‘here and now’, otherwise the pharmacy network will continue to deteriorate.”

According to CCA, the success of any commitments depends on implementation through cooperation between policymakers and the sector. “The recent announcements in the Primary Care Recovery Plan and the NHS Workforce Plan are positive, but the focus must now shift to actual implementation.”

Furthermore, careful planning and partnership are essential to fully grasp opportunities like Independent Prescribing, CCA added.

CCA said clear goals and milestones are essential for measuring the impact of changes on patients and helping pharmacy businesses evaluate costs and benefits for further investment. “Timely and effective implementation is crucial to address the urgent needs of patients and the NHS.”

Meanwhile, the Expert Panel’s report on the community pharmacy sector’s funding, published on Tuesday (25 July), highlights the need for improvement. The review of nine Government commitments, including seven from the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, indicates inadequate funding to sustain pharmacies amidst rising demands, workforce pressures, and inflation-related costs.


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