Monday, 24 October 2016

Pharmacists Encouraged to Provide Services in Care Homes

Plans to modernise community pharmacies have been announced by the government.

The modernisation plans are designed to make the most of pharmacists’ skills in all health care settings, including GP surgeries and care homes. Pharmacists’ payments will be based on quality of service, with establishment payments being phased out and a new Pharmacy Integration Fund will support community pharmacies develop new clinical pharmacy services and new ways of working, in new settings and online, in support of the NHS as a whole.

Under the new Quality Payment Scheme pharmacies will receive funding based on their ability to provide a quality service to the public. Examples of standards they will need to demonstrate they meet include:
  • Demonstrating that they are a ‘healthy living-pharmacy’, helping prevent health problems developing rather than simply treating them.
  • Publishing the results of patient experience surveys so people can making informed choice about which pharmacy to go to.
  • Demonstrating that staff are trained in how to support patients with conditions such as dementia.
By incentivising pharmacists to make their services available in a range of settings such as GP surgeries and care homes, it is hoped that patients will receive a better service, when and where they need it, and pressure will be relieved from A&E and GP surgeries.

Beginning in December 2016, NHS England will be working to embed pharmacies into NHS urgent care by expanding the services already provided by community pharmacies in England for those who need urgent repeat prescriptions and treatment for urgent minor ailments and common conditions. This will help to relieve GPs’ workloads, and help to bring about real practical long-term change.

Health Minister David Mowat said “Far from jeopardising services, our modernisation package will make the most of skills and transform how pharmacists and their teams operate in the community, ensuring the public receives the very best care in the places they need it, 7 days a week.”

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