The government is to come under scrutiny by a panel of experts tasked with evaluating its progress on commitments to pharmacy services in England.

Six specialists with expertise in pharmacy, including the National Pharmacy Association’s (NPA) chief executive, are set to join the Health and Social Care Committee’s expert panel for this work.

The panel, which also includes core members who are renowned experts across health and social care, will produce a report evaluating promises made by the government across five key areas in pharmacy.

These include: community pharmacy; integrated care; education training and the pharmacy workforce; extended services and hospital pharmacy.

The panel will rate the government – in a Care Quality Commission style – from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’ against each specific pledge it has made, with a final overall rating also to be given.

Professor Dame Jane Dacre, chair of the expert panel, said: ‘The role of pharmacy in delivering care whether in hospital, the community or primary care has never been more important.

‘The government has made a number of commitments aimed at improving pharmacy services and we’ll be looking at the progress to achieve these targets.’

Professor Dacre, who is also a professor of medical education at University College London and former president of the Royal College of Physicians, said the evaluation would hear from stakeholders across the industry – including from both NHS and independent providers.

‘We’ll be considering pledges covering frontline services as well as the education and training of the workforce,’ she added.

Specialist experts on the panel include:

  • Mark Lyonette, chief executive of the NPA
  • Dr Raliat Onatade, chief pharmacist and director of medicines and pharmacy for North-East London integrated care board
  • Ellen Williams, director of regional pharmacy training at Pharmacy Workforce Development South.
  • Nadra Ahmed, chair of the National Care Association
  • Dr Rima Makarem, chair of the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board
  • Dr Hamde Nazar, senior lecturer within the Faculty of Medical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, at Newcastle University

Mr Lyonette said he was ‘delighted’ to be joining the panel and that he hoped to help ‘evaluate to what extent UK Government is delivering on making the best use of the third largest healthcare profession’.

Meanwhile, Dr Onatade said she was ‘an advocate of the value that the pharmacy profession brings to health and social care’ and that supporting this work was an ‘opportunity to highlight areas where government commitments have and haven’t enabled the profession to achieve its full potential’.

She said she wanted to be a part of the panel because she believed ‘it plays a very important role in holding government to account’.

‘My goal as a panel member is to help produce a balanced report which rings true for everyone who reads it. Spotlighting both successes and areas of underachievement,’ she added.