Pharmacists urge PCTs to expand their role

Commissioning of enhanced pharmacy services is regrettably patchy', according to Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs).

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) told the Health Committee that minor ailments services should be reclassified as advanced services or direct enhanced services.

LPCs report that poor commissioning was limiting their ability to deliver the range of services that the government envisaged in its Pharmacy In England White Paper.

The PSNC says that the main problems are a lack of PCT engagement with providers around planning or commissioning processes, inadequate communication between PCTs and LPCs, inconsistent and unclear responsibility for commissioning pharmacy services, a failure to adequately remunerate contractors for providing services and imperfectly designed pilot schemes.

Sue Sharpe, PSNC chief executive, said: ‘More needs to be done to ensure that all patients benefit from an expanded role for community pharmacy. Reclassifying irrefutably valuable enhanced services as advanced services or direct enhanced services will give government greater scope to ensure their provision is not held back by inadequate commissioning.'

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