Commenting on the Hewitt Review of Integrated Care Systems, RPS Director for England James Davies said:
“This review highlights the potential for Integrated Care Systems to drive collaboration and rightly recognises that supporting prevention and tackling health inequalities are key to a sustainable NHS.
“The report considers a number of key issues to make ICSs a success, including the need to improve data sharing and interoperability of patient records. It is vital that any future discussions around primary care reforms include pharmacy alongside other key partners.
“Just as ICSs are taking over commissioning of local pharmacy services, I hope the Government and NHS leadership listen to the warning that the scale and timing of cuts to ICB funding risk diverting time and energy from staff who are essential to transformation to improve patient care.
“The report underlines how health and care staff must get the support they need and shows why the RPS has already called for staff to have protected time within their role to enhance their leadership skills, develop local services and support research.
“The report acknowledges significant pressures on the pharmacy workforce. With other pharmacy bodies we called on the Government to ensure the NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan considers the whole of pharmacy and we are still waiting to see what is published. The workforce plan must support a future pipeline of pharmacists backed by investment in education and training.”