Today NHS England publishes two documents to help make greater use of pharmacies in providing high quality and resilient urgent care at a local level. Pharmacy Voice hopes that the resources, aimed at all member organisations of System Resilience Groups across England, will encourage commissioners to work locally to develop the role of pharmacy as an integral part of high quality and resilient urgent care systems.
Community pharmacy helping provide better quality and resilient urgent care and its appendix, which focuses on three services for commissioners to consider, are updates to “Community Pharmacy - helping with winter pressures” and an associated toolkit which were launched in 2013. Many commissioners used last year’s resource to commission services to relieve winter pressures on urgent care providers. However, as pressure is now felt throughout the system on an all year round basis, Pharmacy Voice has worked closely with NHS England to revise the document and toolkit to look at what can be learned from those who implemented some of these initiatives last year and to update and share good practice for 2014
Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice commented: "Community pharmacies are highly accessible to the public, and with a registered healthcare professional on site they can offer high quality advice and care without an appointment. We believe more services can, and should be, commissioned through community pharmacy, which in turn will help relieve pressure on services such as A&E and GPs. Pharmacy Voice encourages its members and LPCs to take every opportunity to support the urgent and emergency care programme and to help disseminate this useful publication.”
Community pharmacy has already proved it can reduce pressure on other parts of the health service if it is commissioned to deliver additional services. For example:
- Flu vaccine administration to ‘at risk’ populations
- Emergency supply of medicines, where appropriate
- Supporting deprived populations to self-care with NHS provided medicines.
Community pharmacy services, such as flu vaccination, emergency supply or minor ailment schemes, can be commissioned in one of three ways:
- By NHS England as a local enhanced pharmaceutical service under the terms of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) e.g. ‘flu vaccination
- By CCGs as a directly commissioned services under the terms of the NHS Standard Contract e.g. minor ailments service
- By Local Authorities as a directly commissioned service under the terms of a Local Authority contract e.g. health checks.
The three services NHS England is focussing on in the updated toolkit are:
The three services described in the slide set are flu vaccination at community pharmacies, emergency supplies of repeat medicines, and an NHS community pharmacy service to support low income families or patients in areas of social deprivation to self care.
Notes to editors
Pharmacy Voice was formed by the three largest community pharmacy owner associations to create a stronger, unified voice for their independent and multiple members. The founding members of Pharmacy Voice are the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp), the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).
For further information please contact Stewart Laing, firstname.lastname@example.org / 07725 555030