Local pharmacy leaders in England must ensure pharmacy is included in new models of care set to be trialled by NHS England, to avoid missing out on future investment, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has urged.
The RPS says the profession is now “reliant” on local pharmacy leaders identifying whether their local area will be designated as a pilot area and pushing for pharmacy to be involved in delivering the new models of care.
NHS England plans to invest in a small number of pilot sites in 2015–2016 to trial four new models of care recently outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View
strategy. The pilots will be funded using part of a £200m pot set aside for implementing the strategy.
David Branford, RPS English Pharmacy Board chair, said: “The reality of an NHS that is commissioned and provided locally means the profession is reliant on local pharmacy leaders making sure they put themselves forward to get involved in the new models of care described in the
NHS Five Year Forward View
“I will be writing to NHS England in response to their call for national organisations to partner with them to implement new models of care. We will do everything we can to champion pharmacy nationally.”
He added: “I recognise that the NHS is busier than ever and I would to thank all pharmacists for the work they are doing to help patients and the public. However, local pharmacy leaders in hospitals, community and primary care and care home settings need to respond positively and actively to the call that NHS England has made for first cohort sites, to ensure pharmacy is included.”
The four new models of care outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View include multispecialty community providers; integrated primary and acute care systems; additional approaches to creating viable smaller hospitals; and models of enhanced health in care homes.
NHS England intends these ‘first cohort’ sites to become working prototypes for how care could be delivered elsewhere in the country. These sites could include hospitals, clinical commissioning groups, community trusts or care homes. Proposals must be submitted by 2 February 2015.