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Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
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pharmacypicOctober 21 2015

An inquiry into primary and community care asking ‘How can service improvements be achieved and where does pharmacy fit?’ is underway.

Launched by the parliamentary All-Party Pharmacy Group, the inquiry will look at the current involvement of pharmacy in the development of new models of care, and also the opportunities to develop further. It will be asking for views from clinical commissioning groups, health professionals, policy makers and patient groups, but is also inviting views from the wider arena.

The APPG says the inquiry is linked to the NHS Five Year Forward View announced a year ago, which “set out a vision of how the NHS need to change to meet the pressures it is currently facing.” Included in the idea of developing new models of care is the proposal that decision-making and funding be devolved to local leaders and local commissioning groups.

“In some localities, but by no means all, pharmacy is already playing a more significant role in these new models of care, working alongside other healthcare professionals,” says the APPG. “We want to learn about that experience and how it is helping improve efficiency in the NHS and reach the targets set out in the Five Year Forward View.”

It has set out a list of specific issues it would like to hear views on:

  • how pharmacy teams are working, or should be working, with other health professionals locally, with NHS commissioners, local authorities and providers in social care;
  • examples of new models of care involving pharmacy, whether they be already active or planned;
  • how commissioning localities – especially in the vanguard sites and in Manchester - intend to develop models of care that harness the skills and expertise of pharmacists, pharmacy teams, and other healthcare professionals, and create effective pathways for patients;
  • how commissioning is, or should be, working and whether it is delivering the kind of new approaches to care that the 5YFV calls for: “We want to identify the barriers to commissioning innovative services. We will be interested to see both good and bad examples of commissioning processes and decisions, although we will not take a view or intervene on individual cases.”;
  • whether the knowledge and skills of pharmacists, pharmacy teams, and other healthcare professionals being utilised effectively in discussions and decisions around commissioning, both local and nationally;
  • what commissioners, NHS organisations and patient voices need and expect from providers in primary and community care, in particular (but not exclusively) pharmacy, and what more pharmacy could be doing to deliver improved services and outcomes for patients.

Announcing the consultation, APPG chairman Sir Kevin Barron MP said: “The NHS across England has to innovate and develop new models of care if it is to meet the challenges it faces. It is crucial that commissioners and health professionals work together to get it right locally and nationally.

“Our Inquiry will look into what’s already going on, especially among the most innovative CCGs and vanguard sites, and what other opportunities there are to develop services that benefit patients and help the NHS to be more efficient. It’s clear to us that pharmacy has a full role to play in that, but we want to hear what those responsible for commissioning services and caring for patients think.”

Evidence should be submitted via the APPG’s secretariat at Luther Pendragon on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by December 19.

Links:

APPG announcement

APPG Inquiry terms of reference

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