This Westminster Health Forum conference will focus on next steps for pharmacy services in healthcare delivery, and opportunities to develop the role of community pharmacy as part of the health service in England.
It comes amidst proposals to increase prescribing powers for pharmacists and reform training to enable pharmacists to work as independent prescribers immediately following graduation, as well as the Health Secretary announcing additional pharmacy services within the Primary Care Recovery Plan, and also indicating that implementation of a Pharmacy First system in England is being considered.
The conference takes place against the backdrop of an evolving healthcare landscape, including developments in integrated care systems and digital transformation, an expected update to the NHS Long Term Plan, and wider strategic initiatives to implement alternatives to medicine, such as the Overprescribing Review. We expect discussion on opportunities to develop pharmacy services as a key component of future NHS and community care delivery.
It will include keynote sessions with Gisela Abbam, Chair, General Pharmaceutical Council; Andrew Lane, Chair, National Pharmacy Association; Matthew Armstrong, Senior Manager, Pharmacy Contracts and Project Developments, Walgreens Boots Alliance; and a senior speaker confirmed from the Professional Record Standards Body.
Overall, areas for discussion include:
- strategic ambitions: the opportunity for a Pharmacy First scheme in England - long-term aims for pharmacy services in the context of an updated NHS Long Term Plan.
- community pharmacy: future role in improvements to key service areas such as general practice, primary care and the ambulance service - delivering medicine optimisation in community care.
- the workforce: priorities for upskilling - improving training to increase the number of independent prescribers and develop the services that pharmacists can offer.
- digital pharmacy: key areas for expansion - supporting efficiency in prescription management - potential for digital services to allow patients more control over their care.
- further development areas: social prescribing services and non-medical treatments - the NHS STOMP programme - structured medicine reviews to support reduction of overprescribing.
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