Community pharmacy has a central role to play in delivering high quality, sustainable health and care services and improving population health outcomes.
Community pharmacies are the nation’s most accessible healthcare providers but remain under- utilised. 90% of the population live within 20 minutes walking distance of a pharmacy, and pharmacies are open for longer hours than many other health services, including at evenings and weekends. They manage the safe and efficient supply of medicines, provide a wide range of clinical services, and have the potential to convey health messages, support and advice opportunistically to 1.6 million people every day.
The Community Pharmacy Forward View is the culmination of joint working between Pharmacy Voice and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), supported by the English Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). It sets out the ambitions for community pharmacies to enhance and expand personalised care, support and wellbeing services offered by the sector. The report and executive summary argue for fuller integration with other local health and care services and highlights the role of the community pharmacy in being the facilitator of personalised care for patients with long-term conditions and in being a neighbourhood health and wellbeing hub. Their vision for the sector focuses on 3 key roles for the community pharmacy of the future:
- As the facilitator of personalised care for people with long-term conditions
- As the trusted, convenient first port of call for episodic healthcare advice and treatment
- As the neighbourhood health and wellbeing hub.
Community pharmacy: good practice examples
These examples of good practice put together by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society aim to illustrate how community pharmacy can be integrated in the wider primary care and community health system. The examples outlined in this briefing provide an insight into how commissioning pharmacy services outside of the core NHS contractual framework can transform the provision of care in local areas.
RPS is the professional membership body for pharmacists and pharmacy in Great Britain.
Pharmacy Voice is an association of trade bodies which brings together and speaks on behalf of community pharmacy owners in England.
PSNC promotes and supports the interests of all NHS community pharmacies in England and is recognised by the Secretary of State for Health as the body that represents NHS pharmacy contractors.