NHS Confederation 2018: Community pharmacies have ‘bigger’ part to play.

06 Jul 2018

The head of NHS England has said he agreed that community pharmacies have a “bigger” part to play in addressing the pressures faced by the health service.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England acknowledged the role of community pharmacies during the NHS Confederation’s annual conference and exhibition last month (June) when asked a question by the National Pharmacy Association’s policy manager Helga Mangion.

During the question and answer session in the event, where health and social care leaders gather to discuss  shared challenges and solutions, Helga asked: “Are you aware of the NPA’s current proposals for improving access to the NHS care following a survey that shows 90 per cent of people with long term conditions would like to see services in community pharmacies expanded?”

She added: “Do you agree that community pharmacy, as probably the most accessible part of the health service, has a bigger role to play to address the NHS’s chronic access challenge.”

Simon responded by saying: “I do agree with that. There’s been an increase in community pharmacy as you know, looked at over the course of the last 10 years. That doesn’t mean there aren’t efficiencies to be had in the reimbursement structure and the clinical and business model of community pharmacy – there clearly are.

“…It is not in any way ‘dissing’ community pharmacy but actually ‘pharmacists’ as a clinical profession are also profoundly important and that is why we are also directly investing in the expansion of the clinical pharmacy workforce working alongside GPs and others, and I think that it is a case of both, rather than either or.”

Watch the Q&A clip below: