RPS England has welcomed a draft, quality standard consultation published today by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which calls to make better use of the skills of community pharmacists.
The standards call for community pharmacy to be integrated further into ‘existing care and referral pathways’ which will help prevent or detect long-term conditions, including cutting alcohol and quitting smoking. The full NICE press release on this story can be found here.
Claire Anderson, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board, said:
‘Community pharmacists are one of the most trusted and accessible health professionals for the public and it’s great to see this draft quality standard recognise the valuable role they play. There is strong evidence for their role in helping people to stop smoking and they are well equipped to advise about alcohol use and weight management . They can help people stay healthy and out of hospital, support the earlier detection of long-term conditions, and provide easy access to expert advice on medicines.
‘The RPS has long called for community pharmacists to have read-write access to a clinical record and to be better integrated into referral pathways. We’re already seeing some positive steps through Community Pharmacists Consultation Service and look forward to this being expanded, such as through referrals from GPs, to improve patient access and help ease pressure on the health service.’
The RPS will be responding to the consultation in due course, which is due to be published later in the year. We would welcome RPS members to submit their views to us and they can email [email protected]