Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Lincolnshire’s hospital trust sees national NHS 10-year-plan as ‘exciting’

Lincolnshire’s hospital trust sees national NHS 10-year-plan as ‘exciting’

Trade and professional bodies in the pharmacy sector welcomed the NHS Long Term Plan, published yesterday, which envisages "an essential role" for pharmacists in delivering the goals set out, especially in primary and community care, for the next five years.

The NHS also plans to make sure all software is able to communicate, lessening human error.

"Our ambition is to work with HM Government on a multi-year settlement for community pharmacy, setting out what pharmacies are working to achieve and what money will be available for doing so, and helping the sector to move towards a future in which pharmacies are fairly rewarded for providing a range of clinical services that benefit patients and the NHS".

Sandra Gidley, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's English Pharmacy Board, told The Pharmaceutical Journal that the use of pharmacists in primary care networks is "really important".

Whilst welcoming proposals to increase community care, Healthwatch Dorset Manager, Martyn Webster, said there were "concerns and question marks" over to what degree the ambitious plans - which include genetic testing for childhood cancer patients - can be turned into reality. We would like to see this extended into other areas where there are high levels of dental decay, ' she added.

"[The] PSNC has been pressing for reform of community pharmacy's reimbursement arrangements for a number of years so we are keen to begin discussions on this".

The NHS is frequently called upon to pick up the pieces from underfunded and means-tested social care, and so the plan's exclusive focus on the health service makes little economic sense, its critics allege.

Malcolm Harrison, chief executive of the Company Chemists' Association (CCA) expressed his approval of the plan for identifying community pharmacy as an essential part in delivering its goals.

The long-term plan stated that CCGs would be developing "pharmacy connection schemes for patients who don't need primary medical services" as part of a wider move to create "fully integrated community-based healthcare".

Nurses working within community health crisis response services will be expected to meet guideline recommendations and deliver services within two hours of referral by 2023.

Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer at NHS England, praised the plan as "fantastic news on pharmacy, meds op and reducing over-medication in #NHSLongTermPlan".

The document states that local areas should design and implement models of care that will 'support health development by providing holistic care across local authority and NHS services, including primary care, community services, speech and language therapy, school nursing, oral health, acute and specialised services'. "I look forward to seeing the Plan enacted and our NHS continue to go from strength to strength".

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