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Royal Pharmaceutical Society targets key issues

As part of the Government listening exercise on NHS modernisation, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) hosted a listening event for the Future Forum on 16th May 2011. The event was chaired by Ash Soni, the NHS Future Forum member. As an outcome of this meeting and with the help of  members input, the RPS has compiled a list of the four most important issues the profession would like to raise with the Future Forum.

These are:

Composition of Clinically-led Consortia and Health and Wellbeing Boards
Standards of care to patients will improve if there is input from all relevant professions at key points in the planning, commissioning, delivery and monitoring of services provided. We believe:

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  • A pharmacist should be appointed to every clinically-led consortium, identified as the responsible person for the right medicines prescribed in a cost-effective and safe way and within legal parameters at all levels i.e. strategic and operational
  • It is essential that there is pharmacy input whenever pharmacy or medicines are being discussed. Clinically-led consortia and health and wellbeing boards would benefit greatly from the input of a community pharmacist.

Delivering better primary and across care boundaries
Effective multi-disciplinary working can increase the standards of patient care:

  • At the creation of services, that is at decision making level
  • In the creation of the operating standards and protocols between the professions to allow collaborative working
  • Sharing patient records across professions for the benefit of patients
  • At the creation of the commissioning process
  • In the provision of the services
  • In the monitoring of those services

National, regional and local frameworks
The standards of service provided to patients would be raised if there was:

  • A national framework for the shape of services currently provided in addition to the core community pharmacy contractual framework
  • A national framework of Deaneries / or clarity about how their current functions will be supported in the future
  • A national or regional framework for specialist contracts, such as oncology, specialised pharmacy services such as medicines information or provision of health services within secure environments
  • A single accreditation process, applicable across England, for the additional competencies required in delivering any enhanced services
  • The Bill should be explicit in defining the need for a performer’s list or remove the section, as it could merely duplicate the register currently held by the regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Council.

Governance, clarity and responsibility in the new structure
Roles and functions of the new bodies within the proposed structure to be more clearly defined:

  • The responsibility of clinically-led consortia to deliver against the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), compiled by local authorities. This responsibility must be scrutinised by health and wellbeing boards
  • The need for the Bill to explicitly provide an oversight role for the health and wellbeing board over clinical commissioning consortia. This should be a method of holding to account the consortia for their delivery of patient outcomes and ensuring commissioning is undertaken in a transparent manner.
  • Clarity around who is responsible/accountable for what and to whom and how services should become more joined up and not increasingly fragmented.

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