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NHS England

NHS England to pilot patient referral scheme between GPs and community pharmacy

Keith Ridge, the chief pharmaceutical officer for England, has described a workforce implementation plan outlined in the NHS long-term plan as “hugely important”.

Keith Ridge, the chief pharmaceutical officer

Source: Jeff Gilbert

Keith Ridge, the chief pharmaceutical officer for England, has explained that the NHS 10-year plan includes “a pilot of referral direct from GP practices to community pharmacies”, which is expected to launch later in 2019

NHS England is set to pilot a scheme that will see GPs refer patients to community pharmacy, the chief pharmaceutical officer for England has revealed.

The NHS long-term plan, published on 7 January 2019, said that clinical commissioning groups would develop “pharmacy connection schemes for patients who don’t need primary medical services”.

Keith Ridge, the chief pharmaceutical officer for England, later clarified to The Pharmaceutical Journal on Twitter that the schemes refer to “a pilot of referral direct from GP practices to community pharmacies”.

He added that it is expected to “launch later this year” and will be financially supported through the Pharmacy Integration Fund.

In further responses to the 10-year blueprint, Ridge also noted on Twitter that “a workforce implementation plan will be published in 2019” and will be overseen by Health Education England, NHS England and the chief professional officers, which includes himself.

Ridge described the plan as “hugely important”.

Speaking to parliament at the launch of the long-term plan, health secretary Matt Hancock said he had commissioned Baroness Dido Harding, chair of NHS Improvement, to oversee “a rapid programme of work … to build a workforce implementation plan”, with interim recommendations submitted to Hancock “by the end of March” and final recommendations given later in 2019.

He added that recommendations will address “how the challenges of supply, reform, culture and leadership can be met” and will be part of a broader implementation plan looking at how the long-term plan will be made “a reality”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20205975

Readers' comments (1)

  • Long awaited NHS 10 yr plan seems to be positive in planning for the future but it fails totally in understanding how the pharmacy sector works at a ground level.
    It also does not recognise the huge savings that are delivered by Pharmacist across the NHS sector .Pity no one mentioned that Community Pharmacies are the most efficient part of the NHS and saving millions pound every year directly and indirectly.
    Further more as population ages it becomes critical that extra funding should be made to ensure that our elderly patients are cared for appropriately.

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