Head of NHS Services at PSNC, Alastair Buxton, told the conference that the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Services (CPCS) “provides the opportunity for community pharmacy to play a bigger role than ever as an integral part of the NHS urgent care system.”
He said it will not only demonstrate the value community pharmacy can bring to patients but will also enable community pharmacists to help the NHS to meet key targets.
Alastair said: “During the contract negotiations with the government it became clear that the implementation of this service was of the highest priority for the NHS. If community pharmacy can deliver this service successfully, it will secure our place at the heart of primary care and will give the sector leverage for the future.”
He warned that “if we choose to ignore what our customer (NHS) wants, we will not be able to gain that leverage,” and asked the pharmacy contractors in attendance at the conference to sign up to the service before December 1 to benefit from a £900 transition payment.
Stating that it was “call to action for pharmacy”, Quality and Clinical Standards Director at McKesson UK, Steve Howard, lauded the CPCS and said: “It provides a really great opportunity and it provides recognition of the clinical role of community pharmacists and their teams.”
Public Health England’s lead pharmacist for the Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Gul Root, laid emphasis on the role of community pharmacists in delivering various preventative initiatives proposed in the NHS Long Term Plan for the next ten years.
Praising the community pharmacy teams for delivering a wide range of public health interventions, she said they were already playing an important role in identifying people with undiagnosed high blood pressure by offering blood pressure checks.
Conference chair Mike Holden summed up the conference by saying that the CPCS was, in effect, a means to the end “because you are having those conversations about what could be that somebody may have gone to the GP and may have picked a prescription, and you are going to deal with it with advice and support any symptomatic treatment.”
He reminded the conference what NHS England’s Ed Waller had mentioned earlier in the day about the need for an alignment with other primary care contractual arrangements, particularly the GP contract, and the critical importance of a collaborative approach – having a conversation and working together in order to engage locally as part of an integrated team within the primary care network.
“If you fail to plan you plan to fail.”
This article also appears in the November issue of Pharmacy Business.