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HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 25 April 2018

Media and Political Bulletin

25 April 2018

Media Summary

Lords to debate on the long term sustainability and funding of NHS

Pharmacy Business, Kiran Paul, 24 April 2018

 

Pharmacy Business reports that the House of Lords will this week debate a report from the Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS. The report was critical of the successive governments, slamming their ‘short sightedness’ in planning the long-term future of the health service and adult social care.

The debate attains particular significance as it comes in the wake of a letter from the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to Tory MPs, seeking their help in resolving the funding crisis of the NHS.

A number of peers with a background in healthcare and health policy are due to speak in the debate scheduled to begin tomorrow.

 

 

Pharmacy minister says government willing to open negotiations on new pharmacy contract

The Pharmaceutical Journal, Julia Robinson, 23 April 2018

 

The Pharmaceutical Journal highlights that pharmacy minister Steve Brine has recently revealed that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will open negotiations on moving from a community pharmacy contract that rewards the dispensing of higher volumes of medicines to one that rewards care provided for patients.

A letter to the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) confirming that negotiations would begin came in response to correspondence from Kevin Barron, chair of the APPG, sent earlier this year. Brine wrote that he was interested in the APPG’s work looking at community pharmacy and the management of long-term conditions.

Barron said he welcomed the pharmacy minister’s reply and said it represented “a strong indication” that the DH will come to the negotiating table with a real ambition to develop services that make the best use of the community pharmacy network for patients and the NHS.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons, Tabled Written Questions – Department of Health, 24 April 2018

 

Frank Field MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that stocks of medicines that are in short supply are distributed equitably and proportionately amongst community pharmacies.

Frank Field MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) competitiveness and (b) effectiveness of the wholesale pharmaceutical market to provide an affordable supply of medicines for patients.

Luciana Berger MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what plans his Department has to support the maintenance of links between regulators, research ethics committees, researchers and the pharmaceutical industry in the UK and the European Medicines Agency after the UK leaves the EU.

Tim Farron MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients can promptly access drugs if the UK is no longer a member of the European Medicines Agency during any transition period after the UK leaves the EU.

Answered by Jackie Doyle-Price: During the implementation period, the United Kingdom will no longer be a Member State of the European Union, but market access will continue on current terms. We will continue to have access to drugs at the same time as countries within the EU, and the UK will continue to participate in and have access to European Medicines Agency (EMA).

In regard to the future relationship, the Prime Minister’s Mansion House speech outlined that we will also explore the terms on which the UK could remain part of the EMA. While it would not be appropriate to pre-judge the outcome of the negotiations we will discuss with the EU and Member States how best to continue cooperation in medicines regulation.

Tim Farron MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 April 2018 to Question 136501, how the Government plans for the UK to participate in the European Medicines Agency during the transition period after the UK leaves the EU.

 

Full Coverage

Lords to debate on the long term sustainability and funding of NHS

Pharmacy Business, Kiran Paul, 24 April 2018

 

The House of Lords will this week debate a report from the Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS. The report was critical of the successive governments, slamming their  ‘short sightedness’ in planning the long-term future of the health service and adult social care.

The debate attains particular significance as it comes in the wake of a letter from the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to Tory MPs, seeking their help in resolving the funding crisis of the NHS.

A number of peers with a background in healthcare and health policy are due to speak in the debate scheduled to begin on on April 26, Thursday.

Lord Naren Patel, the chairman of the Committee and a professor of obstetrics & consultant obstetrician, described the report as one of the most comprehensive analyses of the long-term sustainability of the NHS.

“We were interested in the future of the NHS 15-20 years into the future, not the five year planning schedule which has dominated healthcare policy in the UK for too long. We heard from over 100 witnesses in person and received more than half a million words of written evidence,” he said in a statement.

He expressed his disappointment in the late response to the report by the government, which came in February this year. The committee published its report in April 2017. The response was also “not as considered as we would have expected,” he added.

Lord Patel, at the same time, credited the government for adopting a key recommendation in the report, by making the Health Secretary responsible for both health and social care, helping in better integration.

He also welcomed “recent reports of a long-term funding plan for the NHS,” but maintained that “this will not solve anything unless a sustainable future for social care is also secured.”

Secretary Hunt, in a letter dated April 20 and addressed to Tory MPs stressed the need to move away from the “annual top-ups to the NHS budget towards a sustainable long-term plan.”

He added that this has to be done by building on the work of the Five Year Forward View, a major reform programme initiated by the government, but also by looking beyond it. The government, as announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, will come up with such a long term plan this year itself, he said in the letter.

Hunt urged colleagues to come forward with ideas on the long term funding and reform issues, informing them that he has begun meeting group of MPs as part of the preparations of this plan.

Health activists described the letter as sign of movement and asked the politicians to show ‘courage and leadership’ on the issue.

“We are starting to see signs of movement from government and politicians more widely on a challenge we have long argued is the most pressing domestic issue of our age. This is an opportunity for the government and politicians on all sides to show courage and leadership,” commented Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare system.

“The NHS is facing a funding and workforce crisis which means the next decade must be very different from the last. Any long-term funding settlement must bring health and care together and move away from short-term cash injections that do not enable transformation,” he pointed out.

Pharmacy minister says government willing to open negotiations on new pharmacy contract

The Pharmaceutical Journal, Julia Robinson, 23 April 2018

Brine wrote to the All-Party Pharmacy Group confirming his interest in their work looking at community pharmacy and the management of long-term conditions.

Pharmacy minister Steve Brine has revealed that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will open negotiations on moving from a community pharmacy contract that rewards the dispensing of higher volumes of medicines to one that rewards care provided for patients.

A letter to the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) confirming that negotiations would begin came in response to correspondence from Kevin Barron, chair of the APPG, sent earlier this year. Brine wrote that he was interested in the APPG’s work looking at community pharmacy and the management of long-term conditions.

Barron said he welcomed the pharmacy minister’s reply and said it represented “a strong indication” that the DH will come to the negotiating table with a real ambition to develop services that make the best use of the community pharmacy network for patients and the NHS.

“It’s been a long-standing aim of the [APPG] to move towards a contract that incentivises high quality care, rather than volumes of pills,” said Barron.

“It’s vital, now, that pharmacy and government put their heads together and commission the most effective services,” he added.

In his letter, Brine also acknowledged the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee’s (PSNC) proposals for the development of community pharmacy services, including the introduction of a care plan service, with pharmacists supporting patients with long-term conditions, as part of a new Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework.

The proposals were discussed at the PSNC’s January 2018 meeting, and put to the DHSC and NHS England.

“PSNC’s ambition is to move to a funding framework that fairly rewards community pharmacies for offering a wide range of patient care and services including the dispensing of medicines,” said PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe.

“This is in line with the sector’s shared vision for its future, and would include allowing pharmacies to offer more patient care, particularly for people with long-term conditions,” she added.

“The minister has given no detail on what the substance of our negotiations with the DHSC and NHS England for 2018/2019 will be, but we hope that we will be able to have substantive discussions on the future of community pharmacy.”

HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 25 April 2018

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