NPA response to ResPublica report

20 Nov 2017

Think-tank ResPublica has produced a report on community pharmacy.

In ‘Heartbeats on the High Street: how Community Pharmacy can transform Britain’s Health, Wealth and Wellbeing’ ResPublica argues that with unprecedented strain on the NHS through rising long-term conditions and an increasing population Community Pharmacy is a transformative solution for the health and wellbeing of the country.

One of the key recommendations if that community Pharmacy should provide health checks for all working-age adults in order to reverse Britain’s rise in long-term disease, according to a new report launched today by leading think tank ResPublica.

KEY POINTS

It is very encouraging that a respected think tank has come out so emphatically in favour of community pharmacy – and at the same time expanded the terms of political discussion about the sector.

We welcome the central message in this report that pharmacies perform a vital function in society which is as much about community as it is about healthcare.  The report also endorses our longstanding assertion that community pharmacies have transformational potential in primary care and public health.  Furthermore, the author reminds us of the special place that community pharmacy holds in many deprived communities.

We are delighted that the report recognises that pharmacies are ideally placed to take centre stage in identifying high blood pressure.  There is a specific proposal in the report to make regular NHS blood pressure checks available in pharmacies to the entire adult population.  For this to make health-economic sense, pharmacies must also be empowered to provide wrap around care before, during and after a health check – actively managing risk to reduce pressure on the wider health system.

Overall, the report is an urgent call to the powers-that-be to open their eyes to the possibilities for change and take bold steps to help pharmacies develop as a force for good in healthcare and in society at large.