Community pharmacy funding changes will be gradual
Discussions on paying community pharmacists for performance and rewarding high quality services have started but it is likely to be a gradual change rather than a “big bang”, according to pharmacy minister Earl Howe.
Speaking at this week’s All-Party Pharmacy Group meeting, the minister also admitted that funding was one of the main difficulties with development of new services, such as targeted medicines use reviews and the first prescription service. However, he said that he thinks the money can be found provided the services give value for money.
“There is perhaps some money that we can lay our hands on arising out of savings from generic prescribing,” he added.
Earl Howe also said that he will ask that points made by chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee Sue Sharpe around minor ailments are pursued.
Mrs Sharpe asked the minister whether, when the new NHS commissioning board looks at incentives in the GP contract, it would consider the services that other providers can offer.
Earl Howe also acknowledged concerns about decommissioning of pharmacy services, particularly during the transition to the new NHS structure. He said that the Department of Health will be reminding primary care trusts and strategic health authorities of the importance of maintaining and developing pharmaceutical services, including local enhanced services, in their planning for 2011–12.
Hospital pharmacists and their teams are ideally placed to target people in hospital who have newly diagnosed conditions and encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle, said Earl Howe.
He added that they are well positioned to initiate stop smoking services and link these to community pharmacy services when the patient is discharged.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11050776
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