(Photo: iStock)

At a roundtable organised by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) ahead of Integrated Care Systems becoming statutory bodies in July, members of the NHS team running a ‘stocktake’ of how primary care is currently engaged in local systems met with pharmacy representatives this week.

The discussions ranged across prevention, urgent and complex care and will feed into the ‘Fuller Stocktake’ of how primary care (including community pharmacies) can best be supported within the emergent Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to meet the health needs of people in their local areas.

Dr Claire Fuller, who is in overall charge of the stocktake which bears her name, said: “This roundtable brought together pharmacy leaders and other experts to inform the stocktake – focusing on practical next steps ICSs can take as they assume a statutory footing from July. We’re delighted that the National Pharmacy Association is helping to engage its members and the wider sector in this process.”

NHS England & NHS Improvement director Gina Naguib-Roberts, who took part in the roundtable, said: “There was real power in what people said at this event. We covered an enormous amount of ground and heard some incredible case studies which help to lift people’s eyes and show what is possible. We don’t want to leave it to chance that community pharmacy is in the right conversations within ICSs.”

The NPA’s Local Integration Lead, Michael Lennox, said: “The Fuller team wanted to know what is needed from system leaders to fully engage community pharmacy in planning and delivery at a local level. Just as importantly, they need to know what pharmacy representatives can contribute to this objective. We went into detail about enablers such as data, leadership development, training opportunities and IT interoperability. This whole process is about finding solutions together and effecting change – not only visioning the future but also making it happen in a very practical sense.”

Those attending this week’s event included pharmacy bodies, NHS England officials and the NHS Confederation.

Meanwhile, pharmacists, pharmacy teams and “anyone with good ideas of knowledge of effective practice” is invited to join the conversation at #FullerStocktake and https://fullerstocktake.crowdicity.com/

Later this Spring, the stocktake team will make recommendations directly to NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard.

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