News

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 24 February 2016

RPS: Pharmacist for every care home could save NHS £135m

C&D, Samuel Horti, 23 February 2016

 

Placing a pharmacist in every care home would ensure highly consistent care and could save the NHS £135 million a year, a report from the Royal Pharmaceutical society has found.

 

Keith Ridge supports role of pharmacists in care homes

The Pharmaceutical Journal, Julia Robinson, 23 February 2016

 

Chief pharmaceutical officer for NHS England, Keith Ridge, has stated his support for pharmacists to be part of the team in care homes.  This comes after a report commissioned by RPS which recommended having one pharmacist and one GP being responsible for medicines in each care home.

 

Chief pharmaceutical officer does not understand pharmacy

Pharmacy Biz, Neil Trainis, 23 February 2016

 

Mike Smith, a non-executive advisor at Alliance Healthcare, has insisted Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer at NHS England, does not understand what community pharmacists do for patients. He claimed this lack of understanding was the reason behind community pharmacy cuts, and stated that pharmacy needed better PR to increase both public awareness and awareness within the Department of Health.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons Written Answers, Pharmacy, 22 February 2016

 

Jim Shannon (MP): Whether he has had discussions with pharmaceutical companies based outside the UK on locating functions in the UK.

 

Department of Business, Innovation and Skills

 

Anna Soubry (MP): The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has overall responsibility for ensuring that the UK is an attractive place for overseas companies to set up or expand their business. In this context, the Secretary of State has had discussions with companies from a range of sectors, including in the life sciences sector.

Full Coverage

Keith Ridge supports role of pharmacists in care homes

The Pharmaceutical Journal, Julia Robinson, 23 February 2016

 

Chief pharmaceutical officer for NHS England Keith Ridge has given his support for pharmacists to be part of the multidisciplinary team in care homes.

 

“Given that the use of a medicine is the most common intervention we make in the NHS, it is important that pharmacists are given the opportunity to use their skills to support care home residents and staff to maximum effect, as well as in settings such as GP surgeries and accident & emergency departments,” he says.

 

Ridge’s comments come after the launch of a report by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) calling for pharmacists to be given full responsibility for medicines and their use within care homes in order to improve care, reduce NHS medicines waste and save the NHS money.

 

In its report, the RPS makes a number of recommendations, including calling for local commissioners to commission pharmacists to provide medicine reviews within care homes; having one pharmacist and one GP being responsible for medicines in each care home; ensuring pharmacists are competent to support the clinical specialities found within care homes, such as dementia; and enabling pharmacists to lead a programme of regular medicine reviews and staff training.

 

Following a review of three pilots measuring the impact of a pharmacist in a care home setting, the report calculates that pharmacist-led interventions and medicines reviews in care homes across the UK could save the NHS £135m each year.

 

“We welcome this report and look forward to exploring the proposals further with all interested parties,” says Ridge.

 

Chief pharmaceutical officer does not understand pharmacy

Pharmacy Biz, Neil Trainis, 23 February 2016

Mike Smith, a non-executive advisor at Alliance Healthcare, raised a few eyebrows during the Sigma conference in Jamaica by insisting Dr Keith Ridge, the chief pharmaceutical officer at NHS England, does not understand what community pharmacists do for their patients.

 

Identifying what he described as “a lack of public understanding” about how community pharmacists improve the health and wellbeing of their patients, Smith (pictured) said that lack of understanding stretched to the corridors of power at the Department of Health and Dr Ridge, who was a signatory to the December 17 letter to the PSNC outlining the government’s cuts to pharmacy revenue.

 

“There’s still a lack of public understanding about what we can do. What’s more important is that the Department of Health don’t really understand what we can do. And that’s why we find ourselves in the situation we’re in,” Smith said.

 

“I think we have a real challenge with the Department of Health. I don’t actually think Keith Ridge and his colleagues understand what we actually do for our patients because of the desire to close 3,000 (pharmacies which) demonstrates to me a complete lack of strategic thinking and planning about our profession and just how valuable we are to the communities we serve.

 

“I don’t blame the PSNC, Pharmacy Voice and the NPA because I think they’ve been taken along by this. The fact is the DH do not understand how vital we are to the future of our patients in the UK.”

 

Smith said poor pharmacy PR, which he described as “abysmal,” was to blame for pharmacy’s predicament and the swingeing government cuts facing it in 2016-17.

 

“Lack of PR. I’m sorry but this is my real bugbear, PR. I think our PR is abysmal. I don’t know who is responsible for it,” he said.

 

“I was very encouraged to see the NPA’s response to say we’re going to mount a robust campaign to defend our profession. I think that is very necessary at this time.

 

“We all read the papers, we watch the news on TV, we see the junior doctors, we see the stories about various healthcare issues, very little about pharmacy.

 

“In can only recall two incidents in recent weeks. One was Fin (McCaul) who was talking about ibuprofen in Australia. We actually had a real life pharmacist on the breakfast couch, that was great.

 

“The other was Neal Patel who highlighted the dangers of using the illegal slimming drug DNP (Dinitrophenol). We just don’t get our message out.

 

“One of the things we have to do is step up our PR so we get public opinion on our side and they ensure what we do and they ensure the consequences if we’re not there any more.”

 

Community pharmacy, notably Pharmacy Voice and the National Pharmacy Association, has expressed its desire to fight the cuts but Smith said he believed that was a lost battle and intimated the key was to limit the damage which could be inflicted by potentially larger cuts after the £170 million in 2016-17.

 

“I personally think the £170 million is gone despite the consultation process. But we have to challenge and work with the Department of Health,” he said.

 

When contacted by Pharmacy Business Dr Ridge, said: “Community pharmacy is a vital part of the health and care system, and that’s why we are consulting on changes that will better integrate pharmacy into the NHS.

 

“We are looking at ways to make greater use of the skills of pharmacists in GP surgeries, A&E, care homes and other settings, and make better use of technology.

 

“We also have a responsibility to make sure we get the best use from our resources, and currently 40 percent of pharmacies are in clusters of three or more within ten minutes of each other – each supported by NHS funds.

 

“These proposals will ensure we have a modern, efficient pharmacy sector which gives patients the support of pharmacy services when and where they need it.”

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 24 February 2016

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