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PSNC logo high resOctober 13 2017

PSNC has called on the NHS to make greater use of community pharmacy services, in light of the Care Quality Commission’s latest annual report. 

 The CQC’s ‘State of Care’ report points out that the 2016 GP patient survey showed that, “when patients tried to contact the NHS when their GP practice was closed, a third reported that they then went to A&E, which puts pressure on these hospital services. Less than one in 10 saw a pharmacist, which highlights the potential for greater use of this service in the community.”

In addition, PSNC has flagged up the following points made in the CQC report:

  • hospitals have seen substantial rises in A&E attendances in the last five years;
  • 5 million people spent longer than four hours in A&E in 2016-17, up from 1.8 million in 2016;
  • acute hospital bed occupancy reached its highest rate ever between January and March 2017, at 91.4%;
  • 2 million older people are not receiving the care they need, an increase of 18% on last year;
  • rising demand for GP services is not being matched by a growth in the workforce to meet needs, which means that people may find it harder to access an appointment with a GP.

PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe said: “This CQC report gives yet another stark warning about the unsustainability of health and care services in their current form. The struggle to find a financially viable solution to the ever-increasing demands for care is not going away.

“The CQC are right to highlight the potential for greater use of community pharmacy; the NHS must make better use of community pharmacies to support both patients and other healthcare services. Community pharmacy teams are ready and willing to deliver the preventative services and long-term condition management support that are essential to the survival of the NHS; and we can provide them in easily accessible locations and at good value.”

The British Generic Manufacturers’ Association has also issued a statement relating to the CQC report. Warwick Smith, director general of the BGMA and the British Biosimilars Association, said the CQC report “underlines the NHS is under increasing pressure on its services both in terms of patient demand as well as the need to recruit and retain staff.

“With budgets being so stretched, it is vital that areas of efficiency and value are prioritised. Use of generic medicines already saves the NHS on average more than £13 billion every year with prices among the lowest in Europe. Biosimilar medicines have the opportunity to deliver additional significant value and cost savings to the NHS now and in the future. This will provide access to treat more patients as well as fund specialist nurses for example.”

The CQC’s Chief Executive, Sir David Behan, said: “The fact that the quality of care has been maintained in the toughest climate that most can remember is testament to the efforts of frontline staff, managers and leaders. Many providers have used our inspection reports to improve, and we have seen improvements in safety in particular, although this area remains a big concern and focus for us.

“However, as people’s health and care needs change and become more complex, a model of care designed for the 20th century is at full stretch and struggling to cope with 21st century problems.”

Links:
CQC announcement        
CQC State of Care report              
PSNC announcement     
BGMA comment             

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