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a man taking tablet imageMay 18 2018

New guidance to support the integration of community pharmacy services into primary care homes (PCHs) has been published. 

The National Association of Primary Care’s report looks at ways local pharmaceutical committees, community pharmacies and PCHs can make greater use of pharmacists’ skills as part of a PCHs’ whole population health management approach. 

It promotes three core roles for community pharmacies, which were outlined in the Community Pharmacy Forward View: 

  • a facilitator of personalised care for people with long-term conditions (LTCs);
  • a trusted, convenient first port of call for episodic healthcare advice and treatment; and
  • a neighbourhood health and wellbeing hub.

The NAPC guidance is the outcome of work conducted by a forum of clinical leaders within community pharmacy. It describes the primary care home programme as “an innovative approach to strengthening and redesigning primary care” which “brings together a range of health and social care professionals to work together to provide enhanced personalised and preventative care for their local community.”

There are more than 200 PCHs and the model is continuing to spread, becoming “a core element of first-contact care within integrated care systems (ICSs)” said the NAPC.

It wants to encourage community pharmacists to be part of the change, “to strike up conversations about how they can work within a PCH to improve wellbeing, design new integrated pathways and support people with both acute needs and long-term conditions.”

Dr James Kingsland, NAPC President, said: “Through the primary care home model, we want to take joint working much further so that community pharmacies are integral to supporting the health and care needs of their local population. 

“Our aim at the NAPC is to bring all the primary care contractor services together within a PCH to come up with innovative solutions to the current challenges facing the NHS and make a real difference to patients, improving their health and wellbeing.”

Dr Jonathan Cope, GP at Beacon Medical Group PCH, said: “At Beacon Medical Group we made a conscious decision to embrace our clinical colleagues in our neighbouring community pharmacies.

“Our joint flu vaccination campaign not only improved take up rates in some key patient groups, it also helped to strengthen lines of communication and trust between GPs and community pharmacists. In our experience, collaboration is an important part of building a sustainable future for health.”

Ash Soni, NAPC Executive member and President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “This is an important document to enable pharmacy and general practice to collaborate effectively within primary care homes to provide enhanced care and outcomes to the populations they both serve by recognising the strengths and capabilities of pharmacists and their teams.”

Links:
NAPC announcement   
NAPC. ‘Primary care home: community pharmacy integration and innovation’. May 16 2018       

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