Steve Anderson, managing director of PHOENIX UK, has welcomed the publication of NHS England’s Long-Term Year Plan and renewed his call for the Government to develop quickly a bold vision for community pharmacy as a key enabler to deliver the Plan’s ambitions.
Steve said, “The Plan specifically refers to NHSE working with Government to make greater use of community pharmacists’ skills and opportunities to engage patients. We now need to see that commitment turned into reality”.
He added, “The increased focus in the Plan on preventative care is particularly welcome and community pharmacy is uniquely placed to deliver that agenda helping people live longer, healthier lives and reducing the strain on GPs and A&E departments.
Prevention is at the heart of what community pharmacy does. Every working day we:
- Prevent illness arising in the first place by providing people with easily accessible health and wellbeing advice and support;
- Prevent conditions such as hypertension from becoming life-threatening by providing screening services which means people get treatment at an early stage when it is most effective;
- Help those with long-term conditions manage their medicines better which results in fewer avoidable hospital admissions and which prevents those conditions from getting worse.
Community pharmacies are local healthcare assets which are uniquely placed to deliver the Government’s prevention ambitions. However, to do that we need a new service-based contract backed by sustainable long-term funding, read-write access to patient records and a recognition that community pharmacy is a core part of the NHS provider eco system just like GPs.
The NHS in England is now committed to parity of treatment for mental and physical conditions. We need to agree with the Government the support role which community pharmacy could play in order to deliver the community-based care which that goal will require”.