Community pharmacy needs a more agile legislative and regulatory framework within which pharmacists can practise while still upholding patient safety, Malcolm Harrison, chief executive of the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has said.
Speaking at a Westminster Health Forum on 5 June 2019 on ‘Primary care in England and implementing the NHS Long Term Plan’, Malcolm Harrison said it was time that the community pharmacy model was updated if community pharmacy is to play a significant role in delivering the ‘NHS Long Term Plan’, which was published in January 2019.
“The current model and law around it is based on the Medicines Act 1968 — we need to move things forward from 50 years ago,” he said.
Harrison told delegates that in order for the CCA’s members to have confidence in the changes set out in the plan, a clear vision was needed for the community pharmacy sector along with the development of a single service specification that can be adopted at a local level via primary care networks.
“This will allow patients to better understand what they can expect from primary care and their community pharmacy,” he said.
The long-term plan talked of community pharmacy connection schemes, and Harrison said the CCA was working with NHS England to understand how to develop the idea of direct referral into community pharmacy.
“[We are] committed to supporting the NHS to deliver these new connection schemes and we call upon the NHS to use our operational experience and expertise to ensure that the schemes can be delivered in an effective, efficient and uniform way across the country,” he said.
“[There are] many great examples of small-scale pilots and initiatives out there demonstrating the potential for community pharmacy in a fully integrated role within the system — many of these will help the NHS deliver against the long-term plan,” he added.