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PCNs should make better use of pharmacists, say health bodies


By Beth Kennedy
11 September 2019

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Pharmacists should have an expanded role in Primary Care Networks (PCNs), a joint statement from healthcare professional representatives has urged.

A statement from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) published yesterday (10 September) encouraged PCN clinical directors to consider how pharmacists can be included in networks.

Community pharmacists in PCNs could improve patients’ transfer of care between primary and secondary care and the new community pharmacist consultation and cardiovascular health services, the statement said.

The statement also called for community pharmacists working in PCNs to gain read-write access to electronic patient information, easier ways to refer patients from pharmacy to GP practices and easier access to support for network pharmacists.

Clinical pharmacists in PCNs should work within network leadership teams to ‘develop strategy and operational delivery’, the statement urged.

RPS England chair Claire Anderson said: ‘There is a huge opportunity for pharmacists to support better outcomes for patients and improve medicines safety across PCNs. Making the most of this potential will need local GP and pharmacy leaders to work together, so it’s great to see this recognised in these joint statements.

‘I look forward to engaging further with the RCGP, BMA, NHS and pharmacy colleagues on the evolving role of pharmacists in PCNs and how they can be best supported to deliver the ambitious vision set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan.’

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