A GROUND-breaking community chemist programme trialled across Wigan has been hailed a success.
It is estimated that the commissioning pharmacy service could save the NHS over £470m per annum while playing an important new role in the delivery of patient care.
Positive findings from the Community Pharmacy Future (CPF) scheme – hundreds of borough patients have taken part in the collaboration between Boots UK, The Co-operative Pharmacy, LloydsPharmacy and Rowlands Pharmacy - were revealed to Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue this week.
She was a guest of pharmacist Nayan Patel who is based at Ashton’s Rowlands Pharmacy in Wigan Road: one of 25 borough stores that have taken part,
The scheme has now provided new evidence showing how pharmacies can particularly support patients with long-term health conditions.
The MP believes it demonstrates that pharmacists were “well placed” to be providers of patient care, rather just be dispensers and suppliers of medicine.
Mr Patel said that patients often take multiple medicines to manage long-term health conditions. So supporting them to get the best from their medicines remained one of the biggest challenges facing the NHS as the population ages.
He said: “Community pharmacy can play an important role in supporting patients and working alongside other healthcare professionals in optimising the use and prescribing of medicines.
“The Community Pharmacy Future project has delivered robust evidence of the health economic and patient outcomes benefits from services delivered through community pharmacies and we are asking for these services to be commissioned from all pharmacies, so all patients and the NHS, can enjoy the benefits they offer.”
MP Ms Fovargue said that improving health and patient care through community pharmacy was a “unique opportunity” to influence the shape of primary care “for years to come.”
Meanwhile the results of this work point to considerable savings and much improved patient care.
She said: “This project demonstrates that pharmacists are well placed to be providers of patient care, rather than dispensers and suppliers of medicine.
“Improving health and patient care through community pharmacy is a unique opportunity to influence the shape of primary care in the years to come.”
The pilot consisted of 620 patients over 65 years old across the Wigan area.
It was designed and implemented to meet the needs of patients who are generally high users of National Health Service resources and may not be getting optimal benefits from medicines.