New legislation must integrate community pharmacies into local health systems to fully realise their potential, says CCA
The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) is calling on the government to use the legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech to fully integrate community pharmacies into the health and social care landscape.
The Queen’s Speech included the government’s proposed Health and Care Bill, which will reform how health and social care is delivered. There are currently 42 Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in England, which facilitate joined up working between organisations that meet health and care needs across an area. All ICSs are expected to become statutory bodies by April 2022.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA, said: “While we have yet to see the detail of the government’s proposals, we very much hope that any changes will ensure community pharmacies are an integrated part of the emerging health and care systems.
“When community pharmacies are fully integrated into local healthcare systems there are multiple benefits for patients and the NHS. As well as their role as experts in medicines, community pharmacy teams have proven that they can support other elements of the health service to meet the urgent care needs of local populations. It is vital that these capabilities are recognised by local systems so that the appropriate referrals are made.
“The recognition of the value of community pharmacies shown by the public and many leading politicians during the pandemic needs to be translated into legislative change that will cement this vital sector’s role in all health systems.”