Chief Executive’s blog: September 2018

Chief Executive’s blog: September 2018

“We have an opportunity to catch up some ground”

By PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes

Two years ago this month, community pharmacy was battling proposed cuts to funding, with relationships with HM Government effectively at a standstill. While funding is still an issue for the sector, PSNC and others are working hard to rebuild relationships with the people who will decide community pharmacy’s future – the NHS and, ultimately, HM Government.

In the past two years there has been some notable positive work and pilot services, but pharmacy has nonetheless fallen behind in terms of working relationships, understanding what HM Government wants and in developing future funding and service models for the sector.

As part of our work to catch up, I met at the start of the month with Pharmacy Minister Steve Brine, as you may have seen on Twitter (you can follow our account @PSNCNews). We share an ambition to have a renewed and collaborative working relationship, which I believe is positive news for community pharmacies. If we want to develop our services to do more for patients and local communities, we need to be doing that in collaboration with HM Government, who will ultimately be paying for it.

The Minister is very supportive of pharmacies and we explored some of his priorities and challenges, as well as outlining the benefits and great potential of community pharmacy. In particular, we discussed how community pharmacies could contribute to important areas of NHS work including prevention, reducing pressure on urgent care, helping with the management of people with long-term conditions, improving medicines and patient safety and embracing technology.

After a two-year hiatus we have an opportunity to catch up some ground. As the NHS creates it ten-year plan, community pharmacy can show how it can help HM Government to deliver on the vision for primary care. Developing services in all of the above areas will be a good start, but we need to be bold and ambitious, wherever we have business cases to back-up our claims. Time is short, but get in touch if you have ideas about what you want your future to look like:

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