Community pharmacy integration guidance published by NAPC

Community pharmacy integration guidance published by NAPC

May 16, 2018

The National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) has today published (16th May 2018) a new guide to inspire further integration of community pharmacy within Primary Care Homes (PCHs) with the aim of improving patients’ health and supporting them to manage their conditions. There are currently 211 PCH sites across England.

The NAPC asked a forum of clinical leaders within community pharmacy to examine ways in which further collaboration between PCH sites and community pharmacy could be encouraged to ensure pharmacies are integral to supporting the health and care needs of patients within PCHs.

The new guide Primary care home: community pharmacy integration and innovation looks at ways Local Pharmaceutical Committees, community pharmacies and PCHs can make greater use of pharmacists’ skills as part of a PCHs’ whole population health management approach.

It focuses on the three key roles for community pharmacy outlined in the Community Pharmacy Forward View: a facilitator of personalised care for people with long-term conditions (LTCs), trusted, convenient first port of call for episodic healthcare advice and treatment, and a neighbourhood health and wellbeing hub. It also proposes a list of actions to galvanise PCHs and community pharmacy to come together to create innovative solutions to the current challenges and improve services for their local population.

Commenting on the publication of the guidance, Michael Lennox, Chief Officer of Somerset Local Pharmaceutical Committee, who chaired the forum said:

“We hope this guide will be a starting point to strengthen and foster new relationships between community pharmacy and general practice, inspiring them to explore the opportunities that exist for greater integration and maximising the skills that pharmacists can offer.”

Alastair Buxton, PSNC Director of NHS Services and a member of the forum said:

“The PCH model is at the heart of NHS plans to support the sustainability of general practice and the development of fully integrated primary care services. I hope LPCs and PCH sites will use this guidance to kick start better collaborative working between community pharmacies and general practices, for the ultimate benefit of patients and the NHS. Such collaborative working is also essential to secure a sustainable future for community pharmacy services.”


What are Primary Care Homes?

PCH is an innovative approach to strengthening and redesigning primary care. Developed by the NAPC, the model brings together a range of health and social care professionals to work together to provide enhanced personalised and preventative care for their local community. Staff come together as a complete care community – drawn from GP surgeries, pharmacy, community, mental health and acute trusts, social care and the voluntary sector –  to focus on local population needs and provide care closer to patients’ homes. PCH shares some of the features of the multispecialty community provider (MCP) model, but its focus is on a smaller population (30,000 to 50,000 patients) enabling primary care transformation to happen at a fast pace, either on its own or as a foundation for larger models.

Find out more on the NAPC website.

NHS England are also encouraging all general practices to work together in ‘hubs’ or local primary care networks with a combined patient population of at least 30,000-50,000.  There are various routes to achieving this including PCH, federations, ‘super-surgeries’ and multispecialty community providers. Most local Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships are intending to accelerate this move, to enable more proactive or ‘extensivist’ primary care. As a consequence of these developments, while there may not be a PCH site in all areas of the country, the recommendations in the NAPC guidance can still be applied in seeking to improve collaborative working between community pharmacy and local primary care networks.


More about the guide

The guide is intended to strengthen relationships between community pharmacy and general practice and demonstrate the opportunities that exist for greater integration and improved health outcomes. It covers:

  • the landscape of community pharmacy;
  • pharmacy work with primary care homes;
  • opportunities for greater collaboration;
  • workforce;
  • IT and interoperability;
  • contracting with community pharmacy; and
  • primary care home case studies.

It proposes five actions for LPCs and leaders of PCH sites:

  1. start conversations between leaders of primary care homes and LPCs to work in partnership;
  2. adopt “Walk in my shoes” to gain an insight into each other’s working environment;
  3. develop a joint engagement strategy and co-design new services with patients and communities;
  4. align population health needs with the potential for community pharmacy; and
  5. explore the community pharmacy workforce needs to create workforce redesign and a culture of greater integration.



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