Commenting on the guidance published today by NHS England- Transforming urgent and emergency care services in England. Safer, faster, better: good practice in delivering urgent and emergency care, RPS EPB Board Chair Sandra Gidley said:
“It’s good to see the contribution of pharmacy is increasingly being recognised. This is a very welcome first step on the road to more joined-up commissioning of services from pharmacies.
“This guidance confirms the role of community pharmacy as supporting the delivery of urgent and emergency care and alleviating some of the pressures currently faced by A&E.
“Pharmacists can help patients with long-term conditions manage their medicines and their health more effectively, so reducing their risk of admission to hospital via A&E. Pharmacy-based Minor Ailment Schemes provide fast, same-day access to NHS care for common health problems free of charge if the patient qualifies for free prescriptions. Research shows results for patients are equally good whether they are treated at a pharmacy, A&E or GP surgery.
“The document also highlights that community pharmacies can work together with general practice to reduce pressure on GPs by getting directly involved in medicines reviews, repeat prescription management, supporting hospital discharge and providing urgent access to medicines.
“In addition to this it makes clear that the sharing of and access to key patient information is essential to the continuity of care for patients across all care providers; something which the RPS has been actively supporting”.
“Pharmacists can also play an important role in hospitals supporting patients with their medicines at the point of discharge and providing clinical services in A&E departments.
“The RPS has collated good practice examples of pharmacists being utilised to support urgent and emergency care. We would like to see this replicated across the country.”