Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

NHS England

RPS calls on NHS England to fund innovative community pharmacy work

Pharmacists have proven they can develop innovative practices that reduce hospital admissions, and the NHS should use unspent money from the Pharmacy Integration Fund to support their developing more schemes to help the NHS, Sandra Gidley told a Westminster Health Forum.

sandra gidley chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board

Source: KO/The Pharmaceutical Journal

Sandra Gidley, chair of the RPS’s English Pharmacy Board, is asking the NHS to explain why it is not using “the third largest profession to deliver healthcare when the NHS is really struggling”

The chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board has called on NHS England to help ease pressures on the health service by funding pharmacists to introduce innovative schemes that improve treatment for patients.

Speaking at a Westminster Health Forum seminar entitled “What now for pharmacy services?” on 16 January 2018, Sandra Gidley, said that pharmacists had demonstrated that they could improve patient care and cut admissions to hospital.

She said pharmacy-based schemes had a proven track record of improving NHS care, and with money from a currently underspent Pharmacy Integration Fund available, the opportunity was there, to roll out successful pharmacy schemes to a wider audience.

“Pharmacy has been accused of having no evidence base, but we do have the evidence, we potentially have spare money in the integration fund, so why is NHS England not joining the dots, and using the third largest profession to deliver healthcare at a time when the NHS is really struggling?” she asked.

Citing two examples in the north of England: a scheme in Lancashire, which provides around 75 patients a day with a bespoke appointment with their local community pharmacist on discharge from hospital; and a similar programme for patients leaving hospitals run by the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust, Gidley said both schemes have been shown to reduce hospital re-admission rates and improve medicines compliance.

“We have schemes that work and that have a proven track record,” she said.

“Introducing more of these schemes will help reduce winter pressures and keep people out of hospital, so what is holding NHS England back?”

The Pharmacy Integration Fund was introduced at the time of cuts to the community pharmacy budget in 2016–2017 to support the development of clinical pharmacy practice, resulting in a more integrated primary care pathway.

In October 2016, NHS England announced that it would spend £42m through the fund between 2016 and 2018, but in a letter to the All Party Pharmacy Group sent in December 2017, Brine revealed that the estimated spend by the fund at that point was just £18.5m.

Figures from Brine’s letter to the APPG show that just £216,305 was actually spent in 2017, but he said he remained “excited by, and committed to” the fund’s work.

Gidley said: “It is time to stop diminishing the role of community pharmacists, it is time to invest in pharmacy services with a proven track record and it is time for NHS England to truly support the profession.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204243

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.