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NHS England logoMarch 18 2015

Pharmacy Voice has raised concerns that pharmacy is referenced in only three out of the 29 NHS vanguard sites testing innovative working.

While welcoming the news that the vanguard sites will try out new ways of collaborative working across NHS sectors, the trade body representing pharmacy owner organisations said that ‘primary care’ in effect meant ‘GP services’ in several of the testing sites.

The 29 vanguard sites covering five million patients were announced last week. They have been selected from proposals from 269 individual organisations and health and social care partnerships. These had “expressed an interest in developing a model in one of the areas of care, with the aim of transforming how care is delivered locally,” says NHS England.

“Each vanguard site will take a lead on the development new care models which will act as the blue prints for the NHS moving forward and the inspiration to the rest of the health and care system.”

The vanguards will start to work on their ideas from April, and will take the national lead on the development of “game-changing” care models. These are categorised under three themes:

•    multispecialty community providers (MCPs) – moving specialist care out of hospitals into the community;
•    integrated primary and acute care systems (PACS) – joining up GP, hospital, community and mental health services, and;
•    models of enhanced health in care homes – offering older people better, joined up health, care and rehabilitation services.

Commenting on the announcement, Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice said: “Pharmacy Voice would like to extend our congratulations to the 29 vanguard sites selected by NHS England to be at the forefront of driving the change that the organisation’s Five Year Forward View envisages.

“We are very pleased to see that within the Multispecialty Community Provider models three projects already make specific reference to greater integration with community pharmacy. We see first-hand the huge value of delivering more healthcare services within the community and we share Simon Stevens’ view that this has to be the direction of travel to balance the needs of our growing and ageing population and we are passionate about delivering this.

“However, while three sites reference community pharmacy, this means 26 don’t and we do have concerns about some bids which seem to equate primary care as just GP services. This seems short-sighted given the current ‘crisis’ within general practice and the growing recognition among GP leaders that the future lies, in part, in utilising the skills across the whole of primary care.

“Community pharmacy’s existing infrastructure, accessibility and ability to reach the most vulnerable in society is why there are over 438 million visits through our door each year and the vanguard programmes offer an opportunity for us to demonstrate how we can make every contact count.”

Of the three sites where pharmacy input is clearly identified, two are in Yorkshire and one is in Northamptonshire:

•    Calderdale Health and Social Care Economy - “patients who, for example, currently need support from a district nurse, social worker and a local pharmacist will be able to access this range of support in one place through a co-ordinated approach to ensure their needs are met.”
•    West Wakefield Health and Wellbeing Ltd - “an improved 7-day service ... improving integration of community workers with community pharmacy and creating a team of care navigators who will have access to innovative digital technology that will help to ensure that the patient can access the right services that they require.”
•    Lakeside Surgeries - to deliver a Multispecialty Community Provider (‘MCP’) service that will offer patients a number of new services including an Urgent Care Model; an Ambulatory Care service; a bespoke and effective long-term condition management service for the frail elderly and other vulnerable patient groups; a GP-led complex-care management service; and a number of hospital outpatient and planned care services.

Links:

Pharmacy Voice statement    

NHS England announcement    

Map of vanguard sites and links to descriptions of each site    

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