Outgoing chief executive Sue Sharpe has repeated PSNC’s wish for a new contract and warned that electronic prescribing is a “red alert” that could enable warehouse dispensing.
Speaking today (Monday) at Sigma’s convention in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, she said a care-based contract is essential to develop services around the supply function. It would recognise prescription volume but also provide a stronger framework for pharmacists’ core role of enabling patients to get the best out of their medicines.
However, any changes in funding flows must be predictable, she told delegates. “It is evolution, not revolution, but it has to happen at pace. The very worst thing we could do is throw everything up in the air so the levels of certainty you do currently have go out of the window.”
She described pharmacy minister Steve Brine’s pronouncements about pharmacy as “encouraging”. He seemed to be listening and giving out the right messages.
There are several opportunities for moving forward, she continued. Community pharmacy could expand capacity in the NHS with primary care under pressure and reduce demand on GPs. However, collaboration not isolation should be the driving force.
Pharmacists in GP practices should not discourage community pharmacy but the independent sector must work for itself. Every pharmacist must develop recognition locally. Networks and relationships are important, as are new services and income streams.
Ms Sharpe said she wished she was leaving in happier times, “but I think we have turned a corner”.