Robbie Turner, Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) director for England, has written to all 44 sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) leads across England, urging them to include pharmacists in secondary care plans. The letter follows an earlier brief, sent to STP leads in March 2017, which highlighted the need for pharmacists to be involved in primary care plans.
STPs are partnerships between local NHS organisations, local authorities and social care providers. They are tasked with developing proposals to best meet the health and social care needs of their local population. In this week’s Budget announcement, £2.6bn was earmarked to support the implementation of STP schemes between now and 2022–2023.
“Pharmacists can support the discharge process but can also help with designing and delivering pathways and reducing medication errors. Pharmacists can support you in making your whole system more efficient,” Turner said in the letter.
In addition, he said, many hospital pharmacists are now independent prescribers, and work closely with GP and community pharmacists to provide outreach services and specialist advice.
Turner also pointed out that across the nation, local professional networks (LPNs) for pharmacy are able to assist with the implementation of STPs.
The letter includes five real-world case studies, including examples of the value pharmacists have brought to secondary care in emergency departments and care homes, and in assisting patient transfer between care settings.
The letter has been published on the RPS website. In addition, the Society will be hosting a free webinar on 11 December, which will include practical advice on engaging with STPs from expert speakers including Rob Duncombe, chair of then RPS Hospital Expert Advisory Group. Details of the webinar are available here.