The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has today (3 August) welcomed a new NICE guideline that asks local commissioners to work with community pharmacies to design how patients are referred to services.
The guideline covers how community pharmacy teams can help maintain and improve people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, including people with a long-term condition.
Commenting on the findings, Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the Company Chemists’ Association, said: “We welcome this guideline and are pleased that it reflects the feedback we submitted from our members about how community pharmacy can support the health and wellbeing of local communities.
“The guidance offers the scope to strengthen the role of community pharmacies as health and wellbeing hubs, as set out in the Community Pharmacy Forward View, the NAPC’s Primary Care Home guide and other recent policy documents. It is our view that community pharmacy should be an integral and progressive part of the NHS, providing excellent care and supporting the public with their evolving health and wellbeing needs.
“We welcome the focus on triaging activities to reduce multiple assessments and waiting times after people are referred. It demonstrates the evidence that community pharmacists can effectively triage patients directly to a service without sending them at the back of the queue. Community pharmacists are already leaders in self-care within the health and care system: we hope this guideline will help generate more opportunities for them to develop this important role.”