Leading on NHS Reforms for Pharmacy


It is a time of significant change for the NHS in England. Recent reforms developed following the ‘Equality and excellence: liberating the NHS’ White Paper will be implemented soon. This will potentally have a massive impact on the role of pharmacists and pharmacy. 

To help our members, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society will be providing updates and guidance during the transition. We will advise on how the changes affect pharmacy, education for new and existing pharmacists, and supporting and empowering local pharmacy leaders.

We have collated all pharmacy related information on the NHS reforms programme to help our members understand their role in the new NHS.

Understand what the new structure means to you »

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments (PNAs)

Guidance for local authorities on producing pharmaceutical needs assessments (PNAs) has been issued by national pharmacy organisations on 22 January 2013. Local authority Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) across England will have a statutory responsibility for PNAs from April.

Pharmaceutical needs assessments: a guide for local authorities was put together jointly by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, Pharmacy Voice and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. It is being distributed to the chairs of HWBs and local authority chief executives, as well as NHS pharmacy advisers locally.

In a joint statement, the pharmacy bodies said:

"Local authorities have a wide range of responsibilities, and we cannot take it for granted that they will regard pharmaceutical needs assessments as a priority. With this guidance, we aim to point out the considerable benefits of robust PNAs and the risks of failing to be thorough and accurate. A good PNA can help align pharmaceutical services with other local provision across health and social care, and maximise benefits from pharmacy services. A poor PNA represents a considerable opportunity loss and risks legal challenge because of the PNA’s relevance to decisions about new pharmacy openings."

 "The national pharmacy bodies are working together closely on a range of issues relating to the emerging commissioning architecture in England. We believe it is important that a consistent message goes out from pharmacy to people who may be dealing with pharmacy matters for the first time."