The NHS Future Forum called on all healthcare professionals to “make every contact count” in its most recent report, which offers hope and opportunity for pharmacy service development. Professionals are urged to use every contact with an individual to “maintain or improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing where possible, whatever their specialty or the purpose of the contact”. And the Forum wants this responsibility enshrined in the NHS Constitution.

The Forum’s report addresses four themes: public health, integration, information and education and training. It recommends that healthcare and health information is integrated around patients, rather than the system.

The report recommends that the NHS should be refocused towards the prevention of poor health and the promotion of healthy living, with all providers of NHS-funded care building these into their day-to-day business. It suggests that GPs’ QOF payments system and the CQUIN (Commissioning for Higher Quality and Innovation) scheme be adapted to preventative healthcare and similar systems used for other healthcare professionals.

Pharmacy Voice welcomed the report’s recognition of pharmacy’s valuable role, but warned that a “radical shift” in pharmacy funding is required to turn these recommendations into reality. Numark welcomed pharmacy’s recognition as a potential behaviour influence opportunity, but warned that tact, diplomacy and common sense should prevail.