Integrating NHS pharmacy and medicines optimisation into STPs and ICSs

Integrating NHS pharmacy and medicines optimisation into STPs and ICSs

In August 2018, NHS England and NHS Improvement announced the launch of a new programme, support by the Pharmacy Integration Fund, to test how NHS pharmacy and medicines optimisation/safety can be integrated into Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).

The Integrating NHS Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation (IPMO) programme aims to develop a framework which will set out how to systematically tackle the medicines optimisation priorities for the local population in an STP/ICS footprint and use the expertise of pharmacy professionals in the strategic transformation of systems in order to deliver the best patient outcomes from medicines and value to the taxpayer.

A briefing was published which describes the approach for ‘testing’ the principles of framework for NHS pharmacy and medicines integration within the pilot areas.

Programme objectives

For 2018/19, the programme seeks to “test and confirm” the principles of the framework to integrate pharmacy and medicines optimisation into STP/ICSs and primary care network level. In order to do this, NHS England and NHS Improvement have identified one pilot STP or ICS in each of the seven NHS regions to operationalise the principles and address key questions, to act as case studies for future roll-out.

The objectives of the programme are:

  • To develop and test a core set of principles that set out how NHS pharmacy and medicines optimisation can be best integrated into STPs and ICSs.
  • To define the functions of leadership for NHS pharmacy and medicines that should be undertaken at system level and describe how these would be delivered.
  • To ensure visible professional expertise and leadership in NHS pharmacy and medicines at system level.
  • To identify and accelerate strategies to achieve medicines optimisation at scale to improve patient outcomes and value for money across primary and secondary care.
  • To explore the approach to developing an integrated, flexible, clinical pharmacy workforce that can deliver high quality and sustainable medicines optimisation at scale, across a local system.
  • To inform the national priorities on how best to support systems in unblocking the barriers that will increase opportunities for effective medicines optimisation in STPs/ICSs.

Pilot regions

The seven pilot regions are:

  1. Black Country STP (Midlands);
  2. Cumbria and North East STP (North East);
  3. Dorset ICS (South West);
  4. Hertfordshire & West Essex STP (Central & East);
  5. Lancashire & South Cumbria ICS (North West);
  6. South East London STP (London); and
  7. Surrey Heartlands ICS (South East)

Pilot STP/ICS areas must agree to:

  • identify a dedicated senior NHS pharmacy and medicines optimisation programme manager who will facilitate the necessary processes on an STP/ICS level to deliver the outputs required;
  • establish an NHS pharmacy and medicines optimisation leadership groups (with appropriate time and recourse) that reports into the STP/ICS structure and has board level sponsorship;
  • demonstrate the process for identifying a professional lead for pharmacy and medicines, ideally already working at clinical director level;
  • develop and implement an NHS Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation Transformation Plan addressing key national and local priorities ensuring it is fully integrated into wider STP/ICS plans; and
  • involve stakeholders.

Funding

This programme will fund seven STP/ICS areas to operationalise their NHS pharmacy and medicines leadership and deliver agreed outputs during 2018/19. There is up to £150,000 available for each pilot STP/ICS. The funding may be used to appoint a dedicated senior pharmacy and medicines optimisation programme manager who will facilitate the necessary processes on a STP/ICS level to deliver agreed outputs.

Next steps

The first phase of the pilots will run until January 2019 with regularly reporting to the Pharmacy Integration Fund and Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees. The outputs of the pilots will then be reviewed, with consideration given to further roll out in the following months.



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