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Long-term conditions

Civil servants hear how pharmacy can help long-term conditions ahead of contract negotiations

Civil servants have sat in on at least one of the All Party Pharmacy Group’s three-part hearing into how pharmacists can help facilitate greater personalised care, Kevin Barron, chair of the Standards and Privileges Committee, has said.

Officials from the Department of Health and Social Care have attended Parliamentary meetings focusing on how community pharmacists can help manage long-term health condtions, the chair of the All Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) has said.

MP Kevin Barron said civil servants had sat in on at least one of the APPG’s three-part hearing into how pharmacists can help facilitate greater personalised care to better support patients living with chronic health conditions.

Steve Brine, the pharmacy minister, recently said that talks will soon begin with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee on producing a new community pharmacy contract that could move towards rewarding care provided for patients, and away from rewarding the dispensing of higher volumes of medicine.

The APPG will now produce a short report from its hearings, and Barron said he hoped it would be useful for both parties when the contract negotiations start.

”It’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned,” he said, adding that “70% of NHS spending is on patients with long-term conditions, and this is an area where community pharmacies can have a big part to play”.

The APPG’s long-term conditions sessions heard from charities including Diabetes UK, the British Lung Foundation, the British Heart Foundation, and Kidney Care UK.

Charity representatives at the third part of the hearing, held on 30 April 2018, agreed that regular medicines use reviews would be one of the most significant single things that community pharmacists could do to improve the management of long-term conditions.

Simon Smale, a gastroenterologist and trustee of the IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) Network, told the APPG that community pharmacists were ideally placed to become “engaged and easily accessed care co-ordinators”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204785

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