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Government plans to modernise community pharmacies

On 20th October 2016, NHS England has announced a £42m Pharmacy Integration Fund to support community pharmacy. The Pharmacy Integration Fund will ensure a better quality service for patients and relieve the pressure in other parts of the NHS.

The fund will help to develop new clinical pharmacy services and digital platforms to meet the public’s expectations for a modern NHS community pharmacy service. It will improve access for patients, ensure best use of medicines and improve patient outcomes.

For NHS pharmaceutical services, the average pharmacy costs £220,000 a year, including fixed £25,000 ‘establishment payments’ that most pharmacies receive yearly. The new package will phase out the founding payment and place greater emphasis on rewarding pharmacies for the quality of services provided to the patients.

The Independent Review of Community Pharmacy Clinical Services, which was commissioned by Dr Keith Ridge, the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer of England, will be used to determine how the funding is spent over the next 2 years.

Health Minister David Mowat said every patient deserve the best possible care so; the government is dedicated to build a modern pharmacy sector that fits for the 21st century.

He further added that the government modernisation package will make most of these skills and transform how pharmacists operate in the community, safeguarding the patient receives the very best care in the places they need it, seven days a week.

According to Dr Keith Ridge, NHS England is making this additional money available to help modernise the community pharmacy sector and make the most of pharmacists’ skills. NHS England is not asking community pharmacy to do more, but to work with NHS over the next 5 years to do things differently.

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