The session also witnessed discussions on the development of new roles for pharmacists. Photo: iStock

Three leading pharmacy bodies have called for a greater ambition around community pharmacists’ role in a reformed National Health Service.

At a meeting with with a cross-party group of MPs and peers in London on Tuesday, leaders from Royal Pharmaceutical Society, National Pharmacy Association and Company Chemists’ Association deliberated on the role of pharmacists in delivering the NHS Long-Term Plan.

They highlighted the importance of making the most of pharmacists’ expertise to support patients and how pharmacists in the community should be enabled to deliver more clinical services.

The session also witnessed discussions on the development of new roles for pharmacists and the potential of emerging structures such as Primary Care Networks to support a more integrated approach to pharmacy across the health service.

Commenting after the session, RPS England chair, Sandra Gidley, said: “The NHS Long-Term Plan is a ground-breaking document for pharmacy but we know there is much further detail needed on how pharmacists in different settings will all be able to support its implementation.

“Pharmacists already play a vital role in medicines safety across care settings. While there are encouraging moves towards supporting earlier detection of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, there must be also be a more ambitious vision in making more of the clinical skills of community pharmacists.

“As we ask pharmacists to do more in a changing NHS, there also needs to be a systematic approach to education and foundation training of the workforce.”

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