The Future of Community Pharmacies – Promoting Local Collaboration and Securing the Benefits of Holistic Community Care

Wednesday, 20 March, 2019 10:15 - 16:30
Central London, venue TBC

The role of community pharmacies in promoting the health and wellbeing of UK citizens has expanded rapidly. Currently, over 11,688 community pharmacies exist in England (Public Health England, 2016). Roughly 1.2 million individuals visit a local pharmacy with a health related concern every day. The total amount of items dispensed between 2017 and 2018 was a recorded 1,013.8 million (General Pharmaceutical Services, 2018). Across a range of communities, pharmacies have become instrumental components of the local healthcare infrastructure.

In recent years, the Government has sought to utilise community pharmacies to overcome increasing demand for primary care services. In 2018, NHS England launched its new, ‘Stay Well Pharmacy’ campaign to promote the role of pharmacies as frontline sources of clinical advice for minor health concerns including ‘sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles and teething’ (NHS England, 2018). Moreover, the NHS Five Year Forward View, initially launched in 2014, has promoted heightened coordination between healthcare bodies in an attempt to improve existing services. The Pharmacy Integration Fund (2016) has assisted the delivery of deeper collaboration between medical institutions. Predominantly this has been through deploying pharmacy professionals into alternative care settings such as general practice, integrated urgent care (IUC) hubs and care homes. During 2018, NHS England has also been trialling new programmes intended to further embed pharmacies into local care networks via new Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).

Although pharmacies have assumed a central role in the UK healthcare provision, a number of challenges threaten their future viability. As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee have raised concerns within its report, The Impact of Brexit on the Pharmaceutical Sector (2018), over potential skills shortages in the sector. NHS England’s pilot integration scheme is due to end in January 2019, raising questions over the prospects for future collaboration between local public health services. Moreover, a reported 2.1 million A&E visits in 2016/17 were for self-treatable conditions, illustrating the need for further campaigning to ensure local communities understand how to engage with pharmacy services (NHS Digital, 2017).

Residing at the heart of their communities, pharmacies have been called upon to support more robust public health services. This timely symposium provides a range of public policy and health professionals including pharmacists, health and wellbeing boards and clinical commissioners with an invaluable forum to examine how pharmacies can deliver stronger and more efficient primary care support. Delegates will also explore the evolving role of pharmacies within their communities and co-develop strategies to embed them at the centre of local public healthcare.

Delegates Will:

  • Explore the evolving role of community pharmacies in supporting local public health and explore how to safeguard their contribution to national health and wellbeing
  • Co-develop strategies to promote heightened collaboration between local pharmacies, primary care institutions and medical professionals
  • Determine the impact of emerging technologies on community pharmacy services and care provision
  • Assess the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s report, The Impact of Brexit on the Pharmaceutical Sector and examine the broader risks of the UK departing from the European Union
  • Develop methods to strengthen pharmacy staff training to ensure the delivery of quality clinical services
  • Engage in the sharing of best practice regarding local level promotion of existing pharmacy services and functions
  • Examine the remaining obstacles to public accessibility and consider methods of facilitating the public’s use of pharmacy services
  • Promote the role of community pharmacies as local hubs, discussing measures to further uphold their broader social and economic contributions

To view the brochure, including the full event programme, click here.

We would like to advise you that there is a 20% early registration discount offer off the standard delegate rates (subject to type of organisation and terms and conditions) for bookings received by the 8th February 2019. Do feel free to circulate this information to relevant colleagues within your organisation.

In the meantime, to ensure your organisation is represented, please book online or complete and return the attached registration form at your earliest convenience in order to secure your delegate place(s).

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