Our Vision and Strategy

Published on: 19th September 2023 | Updated on: 23rd October 2023

Pharmacies of Tomorrow

Community Pharmacy England commissioned leading health think tanks Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund to develop a vision for community pharmacy. The resulting independent report follows almost a year’s worth of research and consultation with the sector and wider stakeholders and advocates for community pharmacy.

‘A Vision for Community Pharmacy’ describes how Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund foresee a transformation of the community pharmacy sector. The report not only sets out how community pharmacies’ role in healthcare could be expanded over the next decade, but also explores the barriers to achieving this, and the enablers which will help make progress towards it.

You can read the report in full, or read the summarised information below.

A Vision for Community Pharmacy: Full report

A Vision for Community Pharmacy: Executive summary

To help make the Vision report more digestible, Community Pharmacy England has prepared the following alternative summaries:

Briefing: Community Pharmacies: A Vision
A written summary of the Vision report and Community Pharmacy England’s action plan.

Animations describing the detail of the Vision report what happens next:

Infographics outlining what the pharmacies of the future may look like:

Community Pharmacy England will consider and build on the report’s recommendations as part of our strategic work to improve the future direction of community pharmacy. This is vital for negotiations on the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) for 2024/25 and beyond. The creation of a compelling vision and an effective strategy is also forms one of the workstreams of our Transforming Pharmacy Representation (TAPR) programme.

Click a heading below for more information.

Key recommendations

A Vision for Community Pharmacy sets out a bold vision for the future where patients will be at the heart of their care, with pharmacy teams making the best use of their professional skills. As well as continuing with their core dispensing role, the pharmacies of tomorrow will broaden their range of contracted and funded activities.

There will be four dimensions to the role of the future community pharmacy:

1. Preventing ill health and supporting wellbeing – e.g.

    1. Advice and support on smoking cessation and weight management;
    2. Targeted health checks, such as blood pressure and cholesterol tests; and
    3. A wider range of vaccinations and other public health services.

2. Providing clinical care for patients – e.g.

      1. Help with common illnesses, such as urinary tract infections and hay fever;
      2. Support in managing some long-term conditions, such as asthma and diabetes; and
      3. Prescriptions for certain conditions, making use of pharmacists’ independent prescribing skills.

3. Living well with medicines – e.g.

    1. Access to, and support getting the most out of, medicines; and
    2. Support to optimise medicines regimens and strengthen adherence and access.

4. Part of an integrated primary care offer for neighbourhoods – e.g.

    1. Taking a co-ordinated and active role in the work of PCNs; and
    2. Sharing and having access to data across different providers in the neighbourhood.

Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund say that achieving pharmacies’ full potential will require cooperation across the health service, with Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and Local Government actively engaging with community pharmacies. And pharmacies themselves will need to adopt a culture of continuous improvement, seeking to continuously upskill and expand their service offering.

The NHS contract for community pharmacy services will need to be revisited, suggesting several services currently offered by most community pharmacies should become essential offers that all must provide. This would include the services providing support for patients starting a new medicine and advising on minor illnesses, and later those that check blood pressure and provide NHS flu vaccinations.

As pharmacy representatives, Community Pharmacy England and LPCs will also have a role to play in helping to drive forward and disseminate innovation, and in helping to facilitate wider commissioning of services.

Further information is available on the Nuffield Trust website.

Implementing the vision

Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund have identified a range of actions needed to achieve their vision. Community Pharmacy England and LPCs hope to come together with national and local healthcare systems to take these forward. We believe some of the some of the most critical actions and enablers will be:

  • Improved cooperation across the health service, with NHS Integrated Care Boards and Local Government actively engaging with community pharmacies and the NHS national setting out how pharmacy fits into broader strategies.
  • A key role for ICS leaders from the local commissioning and contracting of services, to supporting workforce and training needs, working with pharmacies to make sure they are appropriately funded and supported to deliver this vision.
  • Community Pharmacy England working with NHS England and Government to ensure pharmacies are sustainably funded, and to set out a menu of service options from which local leaders can choose.
  • A focus on building capacity and capability in community pharmacies to expand their service offering, plus support for collaboration and investment in IT to facilitate integration and monitoring.
  • Consideration of patient outcomes in performance measures for the pharmacy contract and ensuring that savings in the sector are recycled back into community pharmacy. Use of the GP model for funding of pharmacy premises should also be considered.
  • Implementation of legislative changes to allow dispensing without a pharmacist on site and a more coherent approach to the pharmacy regulatory framework.
  • Market management of the pharmacy sector based on an appropriate understanding of the economics of community pharmacy.
  • Including community pharmacy within ICB workforce strategies and primary care visions, with ICBs ensuring that commissioned services support pharmacies’ ambitions around workforce and that protected learning time is provided for.
  • Streamlined representation of community pharmacy within ICSs and coordination across primary care pathways.

We look forward to further developing the role and sustainability of community pharmacies to allow them to not only tackle the current challenges, but to become the thriving sector that the nation and its health service so desperately need.

Further information is available on the Nuffield Trust website.

Next steps

Engaging Government, the NHS and wider stakeholders on taking forward elements of the Vision will form a key part of Community Pharmacy England’s influencing work in the coming months and we’ll be using the #PharmaciesOfTomorrow hashtag to highlight this.

We want to facilitate conversations on the way ahead with as many people outside of community pharmacy possible to increase the number of advocates for the sector. Activities already scheduled are as follows:

  • Parliamentary launch – for MPs, NHS policy leads, health charities and patient representatives.
  • Party conference events – talking about how pharmacy can be a solution to NHS issues with politicians and others.
  • Policy roundtables – a series of discussion events on different aspects of the Vision with relevant stakeholders.

We’ll also be supporting LPCs to engage with local healthcare systems, such as leaders of Integrated Care Systems (ICS).

Support the #PharmaciesOfTomorrow campaign

You can get behind our campaign by using the resources below when talking or writing to your local MPs, ICS leaders, or patient groups. Please remember to use the hashtag #PharmaciesOfTomorrow on social media.

Briefing: Community Pharmacies: A Vision
A summary of the Vision report and Community Pharmacy England’s action plan.

Animations describing the detail of the Vision report what happens next:

Infographics outlining what the pharmacies of the future may look like:

Background to the Vision project

Further information about the project commissioned by Community Pharmacy England and led by the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund can be found in the resources below.

Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund to lead on sector vision project
Community Pharmacy England press release announcing the appointment of Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund to lead the project.

Briefing 036/22: Building a Vision for Community Pharmacy
This briefing summarises the different stages of work undertaken to build the vision.

PowerPoint Summary of the Vision Project
An alternative summary of the different stages of the project.

Steering Group, Advisory Panel and Working Groups
Details of the various stakeholder groups who have been inputting into the vision.

This page sets out some earlier work Community Pharmacy England did around developing a direction of travel for community pharmacy, and matching aspirations to NHS objectives for patients.

For more information on this topic please email comms.team@cpe.org.uk

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