STP Engagement: Survey shows progress made by LPCs

STP Engagement: Survey shows progress made by LPCs

March 27, 2018

Almost two thirds of LPCs say that community pharmacy is represented at some level on local Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs), a survey has shown.

Out of 43 LPCs responding, 27 said that community pharmacy was represented on STP working groups or other structures.

While 12% of LPCs said they were not involved with the local STP, 42% had met with people involved in the STP, 9% had presented to the STP Board, and two LPCs have a community pharmacy representative at STP Board level.

But despite these obstacles 55% of LPCs felt that STPs’ understanding of community pharmacy was now ‘reasonable’ or ‘quite good’.Common barriers to engagement with STPs included that LPCs had been unable to find the right people to talk to, or that STPs had not been interested in or invited community pharmacy to participate.

The STPs were set up in 2015 to drive forward the aims of the NHS Five Year Forward View (5YFV) and they are considering all aspects of local healthcare delivery. LPCs have been working hard to ensure that community pharmacy is included as part of the evolving plans.

A survey of LPCs was carried out in January 2018 by Pharmacy Business magazine, working closely with PSNC.

The findings suggest that some progress has been made since December 2016, when an integration survey carried out by PSNC, Pharmacy Voice and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society found that the contribution of the community pharmacy sector had not been fully explored during the development of the 44 STPs.

In that survey, just 5% of LPCs rated their engagement with STPs as ‘high’ with 33% saying they had no engagement at all, and 28% rating engagement as very low.

Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at PSNC, said:

“These survey results confirm once again that STPs have a lot of priorities to juggle, but that hard work from LPCs to engage with them has really been paying off in some areas. We’re pleased to see that so many LPCs have managed to get some engagement with STPs, and this makes sense as community pharmacy has a huge amount to contribute to many key local health priorities.”

STP Engagement Case Study: Hertfordshire LPC

Hertfordshire LPC has been working hard to ensure involvement of community pharmacy at an STP level. Helen Musson, Executive Officer of the LPC, explained that although community pharmacy is not represented at board level, Hertfordshire have still been able to input into the STP’s working groups to recognise the value of community pharmacy. This has been achieved by:

  • Working together as LPCs. Many STPs map to more than one LPC region, and Helen notes that it would have been more difficult to engage effectively with the STP had Hertfordshire and Essex LPCs not worked together so well. The local STP also includes the West Essex region, so working together to create a unified community pharmacy position is crucial to securing influence. STPs have limited capacity, so engaging with a single point of contact for community pharmacy is likely to help.
  • Focusing on working groups. A particular success of the STP in Hertfordshire and West Essex has been the development of the Medicine Optimisation group as an STP workstream, an area where the LPC is heavily involved and has been from inception. The community pharmacy voice is represented at the STP through this forum so there is no need for the LPC to be represented at STP board level currently. For Hertfordshire, clear plans for interaction, forging good relationships with key stakeholders locally and working as part of a pharmacy collaborative team across different settings has contributed to the strong pharmacy voice at STP level.

More information

For more information on STPs, including a new STP engagement leaflet, webinars and further best practice examples, click here.


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