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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
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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RPS1April 6 3016

The proposed Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF) should be available to “all pharmacists” to provide more direct care to patients, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said. It wants to see the funding used so that pharmacists can expand the range of clinical services they offer and to have them integrated into the sorts of local care models outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

The RPS has made the proposals in response to the Government’s plan to introduce the PhIF as part of its reform of the pharmacy contract which will also see a 6% reduction in contract remuneration from October.

In January, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Dr Keith Ridge announced the PhIF would be established “to help transform how pharmacists, their teams and community pharmacy will operate in the NHS and that the proposal for year one of the PhIF will be to focus particularly on the key enablers to achieve integration of community pharmacy.” The PhIF will be worth £20 million in its first year and rise to a total of £300 million by 2010-21.

Responding to the Government’s proposal, the RPS says the fund should only be able to support change in pharmacy and to facilitate its integration into health systems to benefit patients, potentially with pharmacists leading multi-disciplinary teams.

“Where a pharmaceutical service can be commissioned nationally then this should become part of the contract negotiations outside of the PhIF. Services in current discussion as part of national community pharmacy negotiations should not be considered as part of the PhIF,” it said. “The PhIF should not be used where funds are available through existing sources such as the development of the IT infrastructure via the Health and Social Care Information Centre.”

The Society is also calling for a range of actions to help the plans succeed, noting a need for education and training to be provided, and for incentives to be put in place to ensure best practice is shared and successful models taken up nationally. It also says there is a need for the culture across community pharmacy to change in preparation for taking on a greater role in patient care, something both pharmacists and their employers need to “embrace”.

Sandra Gidley, Chair of the RPS’ English Pharmacy Board, commented: “We would expect bids for this fund, enabling multi-disciplinary team working, to be led by pharmacists. The fund should only be available to support changes which integrate pharmacists into health systems to benefit patients.”

This would mean that by 2021, it would be possible to see demonstrable change brought about by the fund, such as urgent care being provided through pharmacies, long term conditions being better supported by pharmacists, and pharmacists taking on other new roles.

“The fund can help deliver the long-awaited promise of community pharmacists as the first contact point for urgent care which relieves pressure on GP services and A&E. Pharmacist-led urgent care should be integrated into wider provision, for example through referrals from NHS 111 and GP out of hours services,” said Ms Gidley.

She proposed that the funding should also be used to support local initiatives by community pharmacists which optimise medicines as part of patient-centred care for patients with stable long-term conditions. It could also enable pharmacists to become an integral part of the primary care team. he said.

“Operating in collaboration with a robust community pharmacy network, the fund can further be used to develop other roles for pharmacists - a new clinical infrastructure for the profession - in care homes, urgent clinical care hubs and other new models of care. Ultimately this will create better care for patients and a mutually supportive pharmacy service.”

Link:

RPS announcement

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