We are among leading healthcare bodies urging the Government to implement a national self-care strategy as the NHS seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal is set out in a new document, “Realising the potential: Developing a blueprint for a self-care strategy for England”, backed jointly by RPS and other healthcare organisations.
The blueprint says pharmacy should be integrated more fully into the health system in order to encourage and support self care, with recommendations that:
- Pharmacists should be able to update as well as read individuals’ medical records;
- Pharmacists should have the right to refer people directly to other healthcare professionals, so that anyone visiting a pharmacy as a first option knows it will lead them either to the best self care advice or to another appropriate expert;
- Self care should be taught in primary and secondary schools and included in healthcare professionals’ training curricula.
Paul Bennett, RPS CEO, said: “Pharmacists have a vital role to play in supporting people to self-care by enhancing access, choice and information for those wanting to care for themselves or their families.
“This strategy aims to integrate the promotion of everyday wellbeing and the management of self-treatable and long-term conditions into the wider health system.
“Making the best use of the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service is part of this and we’d like to see community pharmacists enabled to refer people directly to colleagues in the multidisciplinary team. Providing pharmacists with the access needed to populate patient care records would have huge impact on many levels across the system and make care both more holistic and safer.”
See the blueprint here.