The Carter review has set a massive challenge for our secondary care colleagues to deliver the “Hospital Pharmacy Transformation Programme”, focusing on improving efficiencies and redirecting resources from back office functions to patient-facing care.
Although the Carter review focuses on acute trusts, the same principles need to be applied to other sectors of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical care.
In primary care we are seeing the introduction of pharmacists providing clinical patient-facing roles within GP practices, which is in line with Lord Carter. This is a change from the past primary care trust and clinical commissioning group (CCG) medicines management practice-based functions and seeks to embed clinical pharmacy within GP practices, broadening the skill mix of primary care teams.
Now we have to take the Carter principles into community pharmacy to free up capacity so pharmacists can deliver more personalised pharmaceutical care and be recognised for their clinical role. Community pharmacy needs to explore the benefits of economies of scale, using the Carter principles to redesign the way it manages the “back room functions”, freeing pharmacists to deliver their clinical role. Hence the desire to look at robotic dispensing, hub-and-spoke models and other electronic systems to make the dispensing and supply function more efficient.
Remote dispensing and supply challenges the local face-to-face provision of pharmaceutical care, and we need to ensure that community pharmacies continue to have a presence within neighbourhoods and on the high streets. Community pharmacy has the potential to develop into neighbourhood ‘live well’ centres, supporting the locality ‘live well’ hubs, which is the model being proposed in many CCGs as the future primary care model. If elected I will use my wide experience as a commissioning pharmacist and my knowledge of the new models of care being developed through the vanguards to make sure that pharmacists are placed at the right points in the pathway, and appropriately resourced to deliver the care commissioned.
For many community pharmacists this raises a lot of anxiety as traditional community pharmacy delivery models transform. Our professional body will be key in ensuring that grassroots pharmacists are supported as their roles also transform.
English Pharmacy Board
Royal Pharmaceutical Society