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The English Pharmacy Board has 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 to deliver better person centred care.

The NHS in England is encouraging organisations to work in partnership to take on collective responsibility for resources, providing joined-up, better coordinated care to improve health outcomes within defined populations. Primary Care Networks are one structure by which this can be achieved.

Writing to Dominic Hardy, Director of Primary Care Delivery at NHS England, the RPS has highlighted the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach in designing primary care services and why making the most of pharmacy, the third-largest health profession, will be vital in delivering a sustainable NHS for the future.

Five key considerations for Primary Care Networks

  • Patient and public involvement
  • Drawing on leadership from the whole of primary care
  • The value of medicines
  • Interoperability of data
  • A greater focus on prevention
     

Sandra Gidley, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board, said: “The NHS spent £17.4 billion on medicines in 2016/17.  Ensuring patients and the health service get the most benefit from medicines should therefore be a key ambition of the NHS Long Term Plan.”

“Whether it is Primary Care Networks or STPs, as local health leaders start working more closely together it will be crucial to make the most of the clinical knowledge of pharmacists to support patient safety and develop a system-wide approach to medicines optimisation.”

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