The much anticipated Clinical Services Review has been published this week. The independent review was commissioned by the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Dr Keith Ridge in April 2016 and is significant in that it clearly sets out proposals for the future development of the community pharmacy sector. The specific recommendations recognise the opportunity of what could be possible, and how community pharmacy could be better integrated with the wider NHS.
The report states; “With other parts of the NHS facing severe financial and operational challenges, there needs to be renewed efforts to make the most of the existing clinical services that community pharmacy can provide and to do so at pace. This may require national action through the national contractual framework, as well action at local level. Looking into the medium-term, there is a need to ensure that community pharmacy is integrated into the evolving new models of care alongside other primary care professionals. This will include enhancing the support they provide to people with long term conditions and public health, but should not be limited to these. Progress here will necessarily be more local in nature, built around the needs of patients and localities, however, NHS England and Public Health England can support and encourage this progress, not least to overcome some of the barriers that have to date prevented full use of community pharmacy”.
Commenting on the publication of the Clinical Services Review, Margaret MacRury, Chair of the Company Chemist Association said; “We welcome this positive, independent report from Richard Murray, which identifies some clear and practical recommendations for the future deployment of community pharmacy. We believe that, if they are adopted, the sector will be enabled to reach its potential and be empowered to support patients and the NHS more effectively. We are pleased to see the recognition of pharmacists and their teams being able to take a key role in supporting long term conditions and case finding within new models of care for example, as we have previously demonstrated and advocated this approach through the Community Pharmacy Futures projects.
It is evident that this review can align with the vision set out in the Community Pharmacy Forward View and we hope that NHS England, the Department of Health and the wider health and care community will work with the sector to deliver it. This report could be a watershed moment for pharmacy after the challenging year we’ve had, and we hope to start 2017 on a more positive footing. The central message from this review is that community pharmacy has the potential to do much more and we look forward to hearing NHS England’s response”.