NHS England has confirmed it is launching a pilot project creating a new role for pharmacists to review medicines use across sustainability and transformation plan (STP) areas.
Details of the pilot have been published on the NHS England website after the initiative was exclusively revealed by The Pharmaceutical Journal
following an interview with Keith Ridge, England’s chief pharmaceutical officer, published on 24 August 2018.
Seven STPs or integrated care systems (ICS) — one in each of the NHS England regions — will test a different model of working to see how NHS pharmacy and medicines optimisation and safety can be integrated.
The expectation is that the pilots will bring together pharmacists working in clinical commissioning groups, mental health, acute and community trusts, GP surgeries and community pharmacy.
Danielle Stacey, Ridge’s clinical fellow at NHS England, is leading the initiative. “Medicines optimisation is not only a matter for pharmacists but for STP/ICS leaders too. And, to achieve this, senior NHS pharmacists from across NHS settings will need to set the direction for the local system to ensure there is collaboration among, and support for, healthcare professionals to deliver,” she said.
“Their expertise will be vitally important in supporting STP and ICS boards and programme work streams on the use of the pharmacy workforce and medicines optimisation to deliver best outcomes for patients when developing and implementing plans.”
The pilots will run until January 2019 when the results will be evaluated.
The pilot areas are: Black Country and West Birmingham STP; West, North and East Cumbria STP; Dorset ICS; Hertfordshire and West Essex STP; Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS; South East London STP and Surrey Heartlands ICS.