Community pharmacy associations are putting their heads together to launch a ‘forward view’ to rival the GPs multi-million pound plan.
Pharmacy Voice is working with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and local pharmacy leaders to develop a ‘Community Pharmacy Forward View’.
Professor Rob Darracott, Pharmacy Voice chief executive, said it is essential the sector moves beyond a one-year mind-set when considering its future.
The announcement followed a meeting between national pharmacy bodies and officials from the Department of Health on the proposed reforms and extended consultation.
Professor Darracott said: “After a difficult week and a half, culminating in the GP Forward View announcement of dramatically increased funding, seemingly at our expense, it is harder to focus on trying to secure a positive future for the network with harsh funding cuts still planned from October.
“But the meeting, and the topics discussed, reminded us that we are engaged in a consultation entitled "Community pharmacy: 2016/17 and beyond.”
He said that it is “crucial” to have a clear view for the coming years and added Pharmacy Voice will “do what we can” to ensure the King’s Fund independent review examines the most important areas, notably the integration fund.
"The announcement of the independent review of community pharmacy services holds some threats to the sector, but the scope should allow a proper consideration of the work going on across the country to improve outcomes for patients,” he said.
“However, we firmly believe the sector should decide where we want to be by the end of this spending review period.”
Professor Darracott is adamant that pharmacy needs to carve its own future and not believe that NHS England and the Department of Health’s proposals are the only option.
"It is timely that immediately following the meeting on 28th April 2016, Pharmacy Voice is putting into motion our thoughts for a ‘Community Pharmacy Forward View’.
“We are working principally with PSNC, but also with RPS, local pharmacy leaders, and informed by a range of external perspectives and challenge.
“We look forward to sharing this view with the sector and beyond very soon,” he said.