In response to today’s announcement by the BMA about the future of general practice, Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice said:
“Pharmacy Voice is pleased that the BMA recognises the valuable role of other healthcare professionals within the primary care team, and that collaborative working is essential. We hope that this view also incorporates community pharmacy, which is a vital part of this primary care offering. Community pharmacy teams are the most accessible healthcare professionals because of their location and extended opening hours, and it is important that this resource is recognised and included in collaborative work between practices and local communities.
“Pharmacy Voice welcomes the BMA’s call to improve self-care and signposting to appropriate healthcare services. Patients accessing the right care from community pharmacy, such as assistance with minor ailments, can free up GP time to deal with more complex cases. We have seen many local Pharmacy First schemes run by community pharmacy showing demonstrable results reducing the burden on GPs. Other services, such as the NHS flu vaccination, which is being offered nationally in community pharmacy this winter, will also help to reduce demand on GP services across the country.
“Pharmacy Voice also supports the BMA’s recommendation to make better use of technology in the future. When it works well, technology can greatly enhance communication between healthcare professionals. This has the knock-on effect of benefiting patient care, and initiatives such as giving community pharmacy access to patients’ summary care records is a good example of this.”