Seven community pharmacy bodies have joined forces to look into future modelling of pharmacy practice, as the government prepares to reform legislation around supervision.

The Pharmacy Supervision Practice Group has launched a working group in response to discussions relating to current legislation and case law surrounding supervision of community pharmacy practice and to work with the government to help shape future legislation.

The next meeting of the group will be next week (9 February), with further meetings scheduled in March and April.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is planning to reform legislation this year and the group will co-produce a report along with a set of recommendations to inform the DHSC and health ministers.

The group hopes to find a solution that focuses on enhancing patient experience and maintaining patient safety and enabling the community pharmacy workforce to maximise their skills and professional role.

Chair of the group Dr Michael Twigg, associate professor of primary care pharmacy at the University of East Anglia, said: ‘I am delighted to have been asked to chair this group on the future of community pharmacy supervision.

‘The sector as a whole have been really positive in engaging with this process with a common purpose to develop a shared vision for the next generation of community pharmacy for the benefit of patients and our workforce across the UK.

‘The outcome from this work will not simply redefine supervision practice but provide ministers with the evidence and tools to transform future community pharmacy practice for the benefit of patients and the profession.’

A statement issued by the group said initial discussions were ‘positive and collaborative’, focusing on what community pharmacy and patient care might look like in the future.

It added: ‘This will help frame ongoing discussions on how the regulatory framework underpinning community pharmacy practice can support this vision.’

Carolyn Ruston, director of policy at the Association of Optometrists, which is secretariat for the group, said: ‘I am really pleased to be able to support the pharmacy sector in this work. The optical sector recently began a call for evidence and consultation process on changes to the Opticians Act 1989 which included similar issues around delegation and supervision.

‘I look forward to seeing the final outcome of this work and the translation of impact into clinical practice.’

The group is made up of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, Association of Pharmacy Technicians, Company Chemists’ Association, the National Pharmacy Association, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association, Pharmacy Forum Northern Ireland and The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.