Community pharmacy isn’t set up to deliver interventions at scale

 

In response to the following article:

 

“Pharmacy should be at the centre of new obesity strategy”

 

Dear PIP Editor,

 

This is, at first glance, an example of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and Claire Anderson making a very good point albeit in isolation. 

 

Why should pharmacies, with their accessibility and high footfall not be best placed to be the ‘go-to’ healthcare professional for a policy drive like this?

 

And the argument is valid, but unfortunately, it is a misplaced one due to false pretence. Despite huge strides made over the last six to seven years, in particular, the community pharmacy platform in England is just not set up to deliver these interventions robustly at scale.

 

Why?

 

Our NHS network connectivity goes through the patient medication record supplier aggregator so cannot resolve access to local internal .nhs sub-domains, where all the sharing of resources happens.

 

Never mind being on the same playing field, we’re not in the same park…

 

And that’s just one minor part of it. When you think of the whole system of prescribing cost centres, read coded data extracts, and write access to records. I could go on…

 

We’re playing French Cricket with a tennis ball, whilst everyone else is at Old Trafford with a Duke Ball.

 

All of which means the RPS and Claire Anderson are not wrong in arguing for pharmacy, but we need the underpinning enablers first. So the next time government wants to role out a massive public health intervention make sure the infrastructure is there to make it easy and attractive for community pharmacy to deliver it.

 

Yours etc.

 

Steve Mosley

 

Pharmacist

 

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