NHS Long Term Plan article


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The government in England launched a new long-term plan for the NHS in January this year. it is a substantial and ambitious document which has significant implications for community pharmacists. The plan commits to new investment in primary care of 4.5 billion which will be distributed through new “primary care networks” to fund community multidisciplinary teams. These multidisciplinary teams will include pharmacists along with GP’s and physiotherapists and many other allied healthcare professionals. Each Primary care network will be funded to significantly expand the number of clinical pharmacists working in GP practices. The BPA would encourage our members to explore the opportunities that this will create as we believe it is vital that community pharmacists undertake these roles as part of a portfolio career to ensure that community pharmacy is embedded in primary care networks.

There is little direct mention of the role of community pharmacy within the plan, but it signals an overhaul of the remuneration of pharmacy contractors and an increasing involvement in urgent care, prevention of disease and screening for conditions such as blood pressure and atrial fibrillation.

As previously mentioned, it is vital that community pharmacists are embedded into the emerging primary care networks. This will be a key priority for local pharmaceutical committees over the coming months and we would urge you to stay close to communications around primary care networks from LPC’s in your area and  get involved when the opportunity arises.