Commenting on the publication today of the NHS Long Term Plan, Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) said: “We are pleased to see that community pharmacy is identified as being an essential part of delivering the NHS Long Term Plan. We welcome the plan’s commitment to making greater use of community pharmacists’ skills and opportunities to engage patients.
“Community pharmacy teams already play a key part in efforts to integrate primary care for patients and to prevent ill health. The plan reiterates the role of Integrated Care Systems and Primary Care Networks in supporting the delivery of better health at a population level. We will be working with our members and local pharmacy representatives to ensure that community pharmacies are closely involved as these systems and networks evolve across England.
“To help translate the ambition of this plan into reality, we need to see the right funding and regulatory framework to ensure that community pharmacy can reach its full potential in delivering services to patients and the public. We look forward to working with the NHS and other partners to understand how we can support them to enhance patient care by delivering fuller digital interoperability between community pharmacy and other services, including general practice, to achieve the goal of a ‘digital first’ NHS.
“We also look forward to working with the NHS and other partners to understand how CCG ‘pharmacy connection schemes’ will work to help deliver a health service that is fit for the future and how community pharmacy teams in can play a greater role in the numerous prevention activities described, such as NHS Health Checks.”