Pharmacy based health checks should be prioritised for development, the NPA has said in its response to a consultation on ‘Developing a Long Term Plan for the NHS’.
More screening, diagnostic capacity and ongoing monitoring services in pharmacies would help improve outcomes in relation to cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions and cancer – three of the clinical priorities identified by NHS England.
Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive at NPA: “The five pharmacy representative organisations – AIM, CCA, NPA, PSNC, RPS – have been working together to ensure that a consistent narrative is presented to those developing the NHS long term plan.
“Our clear message is that pharmacy offers solutions to the major challenges that the NHS will face over the next decade.”
The government promises that the plan will be backed by new funding for the NHS and will provide a 10 year framework for the development of health services.
The NPA believes the NHS should measure whether the long term plan is a success with five critical tests:
1. The NHS will be a truly “neighbourhood” health service as well as a National Health Service, with more services provided close to home by providers embedded in local communities
2. The NHS will be maximising the use of technology to achieve efficiencies but without losing the human touch in health care characterised by advice, support and treatment delivered face to face
3. The health service will look more like a wellness service than an illness service, with an effective programme for prevention and health improvement
4. The potential of the entire health and social care workforce will be realised - not only doctors and nurses but local pharmacists and many others too
5. The poorest patients and communities will benefit from the new investment, the differences in health outcomes between the better off and worse off would have reduced significantly.