NAPC launches consultation on integration of primary care with pharmacy

Patient care could be significantly improved if general practice and community pharmacy were better integrated, according to the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC).

Dr Nav Chana: backing closer ties between pharmacy and GPs (Photo: NTI)
Dr Nav Chana: backing closer ties between pharmacy and GPs (Photo: NTI)

The NAPC and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have linked up to launch a consultation on how to integrate the two sectors. Findings from the consultation, which closes in October, will be built into a reporton how the process could work.

GPonline revealed earlier this month that a fifth of GP practices could employ a pharmacist by next summer.

But under the current system, the NAPC and RPS argue, 'structural, organisational and misaligned incentives often undermine the natural instincts of professions to work together'.

They suggest that pharmacists and general practice can come together to form multispecialty community provider organisations (MCPs) or within primary and acute care systems (PACS) as envisioned by NHS England's Five Year Forward View policy document.

GP integration

Two key principles are behind the consultation - to 'develop an underlying approach that binds the contractual frameworks of community pharmacies and general practices together', and 'develop potential schemes and programmes that could increase collaboration between general practitioners and community pharmacists'.

The document sets out plans to make pharmacists the first port of call for patients with minor self-limiting conditions, and joint management of high-risk patients.

NAPC chairman Dr Nav Chana said: 'It’s very encouraging that the focus on greater collaboration between community pharmacy and general practice has been recognised. This is an important enabler for a transformed primary care system that NAPC has supported within its seven-Point Plan for primary care.

'The opportunities for greater collaboration could have a big impact on the workload pressure for general practice and hence the importance of this consultation at this time.'

  • Click here to read the consultation document in full

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