The National Association of Primary Care, describes the plans by the government to reduce funding to community pharmacy by 6% as “destabilising at a time when we need greater collaboration with our community workforce”.
“At a time when there is focus on GP shortages, it’s incredible that such a crucial part of the health system is being effectively undermined and penalised.”
Strong statements against the cuts and the potential implications have been expressed within the national media and the NAPC lends its support to these comments and to its community pharmacy colleagues.
“While efficiencies need to be made, the health system must become an enabler for community pharmacy to provide good quality of service, maintain and build more trust with patients and allow them to be part of the solution in meeting the objectives of the 5YFV. This means helping not hindering community pharmacy to modernise, collaborate and innovate, both regionally and nationally.”
Community pharmacy already plays a recognised and vital role in the delivery of health care: dispensing medicines, medicine advice, supporting and promoting preventative health measures. However, NAPC have proven and support the fact that community pharmacy can do so much more from treating minor illnesses and medicine optimisation to managing long term conditions and signposting to local support.
Ash Soni, President of the RPS adds “I am delighted to see the NAPC recognising the value and potential of community pharmacists to be a key part of an integrated primary care solution in delivering better care to our population.”
NAPC have run a number of successful Primary Care Innovation (PIN) Projects working closely with both GP Practices and Community Pharmacy demonstrating the enthusiasm and willing of a skills workforce in danger of being underused. These build on existing models such as the Healthy Living Pharmacy aimed at enhancing the role of community pharmacy.
NAPC’s have reported that a workforce skills mix that meet the needs of a local population health must include true integration and collaboration with mutually beneficial goals and incentives. Community pharmacy must be supported as key resources in the new models of care approach for first contact primary care.