RPS England calls on NHS to make the most of pharmacy to support patient care

Read the RPS response to NHS England on developing the NHS Long-Term Plan

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published its written response to NHS England on developing the NHS Long-Term Plan. 

Responding to a wide range of themes, the RPS has called on NHS England to make the most of the pharmacy workforce to support patient care, including through:

  • Embedding medicines optimisation throughout the health and care system;  

  • Ensuring pharmacists in all settings are involved in developing local NHS leadership; and

  • Investing in foundation training to enhance post-registration professional development. 

Sandra Gidley, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board, said:

“The clinical knowledge of pharmacists will be central to realising NHS England’s ambition on improving patient safety and reducing medication errors. With £17.4 billion spent on medicines in 2016/17, ensuring patients and the NHS receive the most benefit from medicines should be a key aim of the NHS Long-Term Plan.”

“Pharmacists are ideally-placed to help people stay well, including through tackling obesity and smoking. The Health Secretary has highlighted prevention as one of his priorities and we need to get serious about investing in the services we know can make a difference to helping people stay healthy and out of hospital.”

“We know that community pharmacy can play an increasing role in supporting people with long-term conditions and, as we ask pharmacists to do more, we must also see greater investment in foundation training and professional development. 

"Whatever comes out of the NHS Long-Term Plan, it will be crucial for health leaders to engage with pharmacists locally as they develop health and care services for the future.”

You can read the full written submission here.

The English Pharmacy Board has previously written to NHS England setting out five tests for Primary Care Networks to ensure greater joined-up working across the whole of the health and care workforce. You can read more here.