THE amount of money the Government spends on the NHS as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is steadily declining. In secondary care, year-on-year efficiency cuts are impacting on the ability of pharmacists to provide comprehensive services, and despite policies mandating care move into primary care, the funding rarely follows.
The agenda for community pharmacy is being dominated by the 6 per cent cut in the global sum and the viability of the network is under threat. We need a financial approach that enables pharmacists in all sectors to grasp their full clinical and patient facing potential.
In her report, Shaping Pharmacy for the future – Now or Never, Judith Smith focused on the need to make the long talked about clinical and patient facing roles a reality for the whole profession. The profession has repeatedly proven itself capable of delivering services to the public and improving their use of medicines.
No more pilots, no more toes in the water, we need this to become a reality. During my time as chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English Pharmacy Board (EPB), we saw a programme for pharmacists in accident and emergency departments, trials of community access to the summary care record (SCR) and the launch with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) of the pharmacists and GP surgeries campaign. This needs to be just the beginning.
As a Faculty Fellow, I am committed to the RPS – the professional leadership body. I need you to elect me to the EPB to continue the programme of clinical developments and professional leadership. The Carter review provides an opportunity for further patient facing roles in hospitals and I am committed to every hospital outreach specialist team having the services of a specialist pharmacist.
The RPS campaign for every GP surgery to have a pharmacy team needs to develop and grow. Every care home needs the services of a pharmacist able to undertake reviews, and vigorous campaigning for every community pharmacist to be able to provide the new medicine service (NMS) and the medicines use review (MUR) programme to all long term patients is needed.
David Branford is a fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, a Faculty Fellow and independent pharmacy advisor. He is standing for election to the English Pharmacy Board
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