A Darzi Fellowship for 2017/18 has been approved for UCLH Cancer Collaborative to work with LloydsPharmacy to evaluate the implications of delivering subcutaneous hormonal injections for breast and prostate cancer via a community pharmacist model.  This is the first time that a Darzi Fellowship in Clinical Leadership will involve community pharmacy.

The output of the one-year project, called The Delivery of Hormonal and other Cancer therapies by Community Pharmacists, will be a toolkit guide to delivering hormonal treatments via the community pharmacy setting. 

The Fellow will review and compare the financial reimbursement and costs associated with treating these cancer patients at UCLH (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) relative to the community costs.  The Fellow will also conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews with different professional groups and patients to understand the enablers and barriers when delivering care via the community pharmacy route. These groups will include clinicians, clinical nurse specialists, pharmacists in the community and commissioning leads.

The Darzi Fellowship Programme is designed to develop the next generation of senior clinical leaders in health and social care by providing them with work-based experience in a new environment, as well as a Masters Level Leadership Development programme, focused on leading complex change. 

Proposals for Darzi Fellows are reviewed competitively by the Health Education England (HEE) Darzi Assessment Panel and are selected based on their alignment with the Five Year Forward View and local Sustainability and Transformation Plan, potential impact and leadership development opportunities.

Prof Kathy Pritchard-Jones, chief medical officer for UCLH Cancer Collaborative, said:  “The delivery of cancer treatment closer to home is a national priority. Many patients living with and beyond cancer still require some type of ‘maintenance’ treatment to reduce the risk of complications of treatment or of disease recurrence. The current model of care means that a patient will need to travel to their acute hospital to receive monthly treatments that are relatively simple to administer in the community.

“Community pharmacists have recently expanded their areas of expertise and demonstrated competence in injecting travel and flu vaccines. There is currently a drive to improve the specialism within community pharmacy to address the needs of cancer patients.

“Administration closer to home would not only have benefits for patients but also may provide NHS cost savings. Delivery of subcutaneous injections that are not active chemotherapy are costly to both the commissioner and the acute provider. This project will determine the cost implications of delivering hormonal and simple supportive care treatment by community pharmacists.”

Jill Pritchard, head of speciality pharmacy at Celesio UK (which includes LloydsPharmacy) said:  “We are actively looking at how we work with the NHS to deliver new models of care.  Pharmacists have proved that they have the skills and expertise to conduct injection programmes and LloydsPharmacy stores, as they are based in communities, are an ideal and accessible location for patients.  This project has the potential to revolutionise cancer care and potentially deliver cost savings to the NHS.”

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