NPA welcomes guidance on engaging with Primary Care Networks

18 Jun 2019

The NHS has issued guidance for Local Pharmaceutical Committees on how to help contractors get involved with Primary Care Networks.

Click here to view. NHS England and NHS Improvement want LPCs to help pharmacies “on a local footprint” to engage collectively with a PCN, by:

– Engaging with CCGs and Local Medical Committees

– Starting the conversation with local contractors

– Understanding mutual benefits and local priorities

– Agreeing ways of working between community pharmacies.  There are expected to be an average 10-11 pharmacies per network.

An NPA spokesperson said:

“The fact that the NHS has issued this guidance to LPCs shows that it sees community pharmacy as a significant player and wants community pharmacy to be fully engaged with Primary Care Networks when the time is right.  This guidance suggests sensible preparatory steps for LPCs and we look forward to further guidance in due course. We don’t yet have a complete roadmap to PCN engagement, but in truth there is bound to be an element of learning as we go. What’s important at this stage is to make a start.  This is a good start.”

According to the guidance, the opportunities for integrated working with PCNs will include:

– Urgent care and minor illness

– Prevention and public health

– An increased clinical role

– Medicines safety and optimisation

Collaboration with non-GP providers, such as community pharmacies, will be a requirement for PCNs from April 2020.

A further briefing aimed at pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across the NHS, including those working in community, general practice, mental health, care homes, hospitals and commissioning organisations, has also been published on the NHS England website, click here to view. It states: “As community pharmacy focuses more on its clinical role of managing the minor illness aspects of urgent care; helping to improve safety, outcomes and value from medicines; and supporting patients to prevent ill health, it will need to have strong links with PCN clinical pharmacists.”