The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and The King’s Fund are seeking views from interested parties to feed into their report into the future of pharmacy practice.

A consultation period, which will include face-to-face and virtual events, has launched today (15 August) and will run until 30 September.

Pharmacists, general practitioners, and anyone working in hospitals, education, science and research facilities and the integrated care system are invited to take part to create a vision which will help pharmacies improve lives and ensure the best health outcome is achieved for patients and the public over the next ten years.

Richard Murray, chief executive of The King’s Fund, a charity set up to improve health care, said that while the pandemic had made it more difficult for patients to access health care services, it had also highlighted the important role of pharmacies.

'There have been real opportunities [in the past] to deliver more care and better services to improve the health of the population and reduce inequalities. But it has often been difficult to make progress on realising those opportunities.'

However, he said that Covid had resulted in many pharmacy teams delivering on 'really important elements of care to patients, proving those opportunities are there for the taking'.

Ravi Sharma, director for England at the RPS, said that the time was now right to build on the 'amazing achievements' of pharmacies during the pandemic.

'We want this vision to look at how pharmacy teams can help improve patient outcomes through personalised care and high-quality services to deliver the best value from medicines for patients and the NHS; to help prevent and reduce health inequalities; to harness science, research, innovation and technologies to improve treatments; to integrate pharmacy wider in the health care system; and develop our workforce for now and future generations.'

The consultation will cover six themes:

  • Supporting people and communities to live well for longer.
  • Enabling people to live well with the medicines they choose to take.
  • Enhancing patient experience and access.
  • Our pharmacy people.
  • Data, innovation and research.
  • Collaboration and leadership.

The report from the RPS and The King’s Fund is due to be published at the end of the year, two months after Ravi Sharma is due to step down from his role at the RPS and move to Luton and Dunstable Hospital as head of pharmacy.

To take part in the consultation, interested parties can let their views be known online or take part in a number of live events in London, Leeds, Exeter, Birmingham or on Zoom.