A group of community pharmacy bodies have met together for a third time to ‘advance discussions’ into future modelling of pharmacy practice, as the government prepares to reform legislation around supervision.

‘Our continued focus is to ensure any future proposals on supervision are fit for purpose,’ said the chair of the Pharmacy Supervision Review Group, Dr Michael Twigg, associate professor of primary care pharmacy at the University of East Anglia.

The group said it ‘discussed the issue of supervision, and what any change in associated legislation and guidance may look like, and how any such change must benefit patients through greater access to care and services and enable the profession to thrive within a future health and care system that enables pharmacy to deliver a holistic range of patient care and support.’

This latest session, which was largely run on a workshop format, also ‘explored what aspects of community pharmacy practice supervision should apply to, and the core principles underpinning supervision that need to be considered’.

The group worked through a number of scenarios to test emerging thinking in this space.

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 regulators, for consultation across the wider profession and sector.

Current legislation states that the sale of medicinal products must be carried out by a pharmacist or under the supervision of a pharmacist, but there is a lack of clarity around what ‘supervision’ actually means in practice.

Dr Twigg said: ‘It is really positive that the sector bodies are working collaboratively and effectively to think about what the future of supervision legislation and guidance will look like.’

The group will meet again on 23 March, when it will start to firm up some of the finer detail of the proposals.

Meeting for the first time in February and again the following week,  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.

It 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.