A House of Lords select committee has recognised the contribution pharmacists can make to proposed primary and community care reform.
In a report published on 5 April 2017, members of the Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS said they’d heard a “clear case for reforming the primary care workforce,” involving “…nurses, community pharmacists and mental health counsellors [working] in a team alongside GPs to support their work”.
Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Sandra Gidley, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Pharmacy Board, gave evidence to the committee in November 2016. Gidley advised the committee that pharmacists bring expertise in prescribing and performing medicines use reviews, in addition to dispensing medicines.
She also reiterated the case for pharmacists to have read and write access to the patient record, and emphasised the need for electronic referrals of patients from one care setting to another.
After considering the evidence from all witnesses, the committee made 34 recommendations, one of which stated: “Professional bodies, education providers and regulators should embrace the opportunities for different ways of working… and should not be afraid of challenging the traditional allocation of responsibilities within professions.”
The report also emphasised the need for integrated health and social care.