UK health minister David Mowat says that the Murray review into the provision of community pharmacy services will “direct” government policy.
The independent review, published on 14 December 2016 and led by Richard Murray, director of policy at the King’s Fund, looked at clinical services provided by community pharmacy and recommended greater use of repeat dispensing and independent prescribing. It also called for pharmacists to have full read and write access to the patient medical record.
Speaking to delegates at the Sigma conference in Rio de Janeiro on 13 February 2017 via a video recording, Mowat said that the report’s findings are now with England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge, who commissioned the review.
“I do know that [Keith Ridge] welcomed the review, there was a great deal in there which is very worthwhile and will direct policy,” Mowat said, adding that community pharmacists should become a more “clinically focused” and “services-orientated” profession.
Mowat also pointed out that 50% of pharmacies in England were delivering a minor ailment service and he, along with NHS England, wanted the rest of the country to have the service in place by April 2018.
He told delegates that pharmacists wanted greater integration with the NHS and to contribute more: “I agree with both of those objectives, as we build a seven-day NHS. We frankly don’t have enough GPs, health professionals and it really is a massive opportunity for the pharmacy sector to step up and work with us as we try to get things integrated right across the primary care sector.”
Earlier at the conference, a message was read out to delegates from prime minister Theresa May, who said that government reforms would “ensure we have a modern and efficient community pharmacy sector, properly integrated in primary care and public health, offering better patient choice and easier access”.
- The Pharmaceutical Journal attended the Sigma conference courtesy of Sigma Pharmaceuticals.