News

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 9 February 2016

PHARMACISTS WILL NOT TALK ABOUT STRIKING DURING MEETING WITH LEADERS

Pharmacy Biz, Neil Trainis, 8 February 2016

 

Pharmacy Business reports on a large meeting gathering more than 400 pharmacists and pharmacy representatives, including Sue Sharpe (PSNC) and Ian Strachan (NPA). The meeting aims to discuss a response to the 6% pharmacy funding cut and the progress in negotiations with government officials.

 

Government’s £4.2bn investment for NHS IT includes money for ‘click and collect’ prescription service

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 8 February 2016

 

UP to £4.2bn will be invested by the Government on NHS IT infrastructure and processes as part of its promise to make NHS England paperless by 2020.

 

 

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons Written Answers, Pharmacy, 8 February 2016

 

John Mann, MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of changes in funding for community pharmacies on the provision of pharmacy services; and what steps he is taking to ensure that busy community pharmacists are not forced to reduce their services.

 

Department of Health

 

Alistair Burt, MP: Community pharmacy is a vital part of the National Health Service and can play an even greater role. In the Spending Review the Government re-affirmed the need for the NHS to deliver £22 billion in efficiency savings by 2020/21 as set out in the NHS’s own plan, the Five Year Forward View. Community pharmacy is a core part of NHS primary care and has an important contribution to make as the NHS rises to these challenges. The Government believes efficiencies can be made without compromising the quality of services or public access to them. Our aim is to ensure that those community pharmacies upon which people depend continue to thrive and so we are consulting on the introduction of a Pharmacy Access Scheme, which will provide more NHS funds to certain pharmacies compared to others, considering factors such as location and the health needs of the local population.

The Government’s vision is for a more efficient, modern system that will free up pharmacists to spend more time delivering clinical and public health services to the benefit of patients and the public.

We are consulting the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, other pharmacy bodies and patient and public representatives on our proposals.

 

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House of Commons Written Answers, Pharmacy, 8 February 2016

 

Paula Sherriff, MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make an assessment of the effect on patient care and safety of planned reductions in NHS funding for community pharmacies.

 

Department of Health

 

Alistair Burt, MP: Community pharmacy is a vital part of the National Health Service and can play an even greater role. In the Spending Review the Government re-affirmed the need for the NHS to deliver £22 billion in efficiency savings by 2020/21 as set out in the NHS’s own plan, the Five Year Forward View. Community pharmacy is a core part of NHS primary care and has an important contribution to make as the NHS rises to these challenges. The Government believes efficiencies can be made without compromising the quality of services or public access to them. Our aim is to ensure that those community pharmacies upon which people depend continue to thrive and so we are consulting on the introduction of a Pharmacy Access Scheme, which will provide more NHS funds to certain pharmacies compared to others, considering factors such as location and the health needs of the local population.

The Government’s vision is for a more efficient, modern system that will free up pharmacists to spend more time delivering clinical and public health services to the benefit of patients and the public.

We are consulting the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, other pharmacy bodies and patient and public representatives on our proposals.

 

 

Full Coverage

PHARMACISTS WILL NOT TALK ABOUT STRIKING DURING MEETING WITH LEADERS

Pharmacy Biz, Neil Trainis, 8 February 2016

 

A large group of pharmacists and Local Pharmaceutical Committee members are to meet with pharmacy leaders this evening to discuss their response to the government’s cuts to community pharmacy’s funding, with one insider adamant talk of a strike will not be considered.

 

The meeting, which takes place at Chak 89 banquet hall in Mitcham, is expected to attract around 400 people including Sue Sharpe, chief executive of the PSNC, and Ian Strachan, chairman of the National Pharmacy Association, as well as officials from LPCs in the south west London area.

 

Prakash Daksha, a pharmacist from Sutton who is attending the meeting, said the talks will give pharmacists a chance to voice their thoughts and hear what plans the NPA and PSNC have to confront ministers overs the plans but denied that a community pharmacy strike would be on the agenda.

 

“I don’t think that is an option,” he told Pharmacy Business. “I hope they can highlight (the government’s funding cuts) to MPs and get some support from MPs. It will be interesting to hear what more (the NPA and PSNC) are going to be doing.

 

“They have been in a situation we’ve been accustomed to. They negotiate. But we have to formulate a response to the government. There has been very little detail.

 

“We will listen to the pharmacy leaders. We need action at a local level. We need our leaders to guide us.”

 

When asked if “action at a local level” meant the possibility of striking, he said: “Striking is not an option. Look at the junior doctors, they have not gained a lot by striking. But we need public support. Pharmacists have never gone on strike. I can’t see that happening.”

 

The PSNC has said it will not enter into further talks with NHS England until more details are disclosed about community pharmacy’s funding in the wake of concerns the government will slash more than the £170 million it has vowed to take in 2016-17. Strachan also recently said the NPA and its members “will not take this lying down.”

 

 

Government’s £4.2bn investment for NHS IT includes money for ‘click and collect’ prescription service

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 8 February 2016

 

The government is investing £4.2bn in NHS information technology (IT), including money that will facilitate pharmacists’ access to patients’ summary care records and to introduce a ‘click and collect’ service for prescriptions.

 

The announcement by health secretary Jeremy Hunt on 7 January 2016 forms part of the government’s promise to make the NHS in England paperless by 2020.

 

Some £1.8m will be spent on the abolition of paper patient records. IT systems will also be developed so that they work across organisations.

 

A sum of £1bn has been earmarked for cyber security, IT infrastructure costs and achieving data consent. The development of “digital primary care”, which includes aspects related to medicines, has been allocated £750m and another £400m is earmarked for introducing free wireless internet access across the NHS and developing a new NHS website that will host approved smart phone apps. Some £250m has been set aside for the development of data for outcomes and research.

 

The expectation is that by March 2017 at least 10% of patients will use online systems or apps to access GP services and that by 2020 some 25% of patients with long-term conditions will monitor their health remotely and send real-time data to health professionals.

 

“The government is determined to learn the lessons from previous technology projects to ensure that IT solutions in place across the country are useable and beneficial to the clinical community,” says the Department of Health, which adds that it has already found £1bn towards the IT investment and is discussing with NHS England where the balance should come from. No details were given about the government’s plans for a ‘click and collect’ service for prescriptions, other than to say that the government is developing it.

 

The announcement coincides with the decision to appoint US IT expert Bob Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, to review current NHS IT systems to ensure that the health service will be paperless by 2020.

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 9 February 2016

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