Yesterday I sat for a few minutes on the roof terrace of the RCGP. A meeting to discuss the Which Report on community pharmacy organised by the GPhC. An opening by Bob Nicholls, chair of the GPhC. Did you pick up on the inflection in his voice? We produced a set of standards for ‘owners’, he said. He clearly told us that to change the standards within community pharmacy you have to deal with the owners. He recognises that community pharmacy is not the same as general practice. A tiny percentage of community pharmacies are owner/manage run – so to tackle standards in community pharmacy – work with the owners.
Bob also said that he didn’t want to come back next year and find that little had been done to improve the situation. Our table, including the insightful Fin McCaul was listening and reflecting in the home of general practice…..
Community Pharmacy needs a Quality and Outcome Framework as a significant part of the income. Perhaps a third of total income, increasing to a half over time. We know that the owners will want maximum income so it will happen.
But do we need measurable patient outcomes. Absolutely not – the GP QOF was built on the belief that structure and process would lead to outcomes – so why not for community pharmacy. Perhaps our QOF should include education and training, leadership, patient access, patient feedback, SOPs, MURs, NMS, minor ailment and delivery of other services. Just do it in the first year and let NICE review and develop in an ongoing manner similar to General Practice.
Build in dedicated training time and support the link to general practice. Heaven forbid the thought, but have a couple of areas of QOF which drive co-working with general practice.
Now is this what Bob was trying to tell us? Will the RPS and the plethora of pharmacy bodies all point towards NHS England and say “well it’s just about time that we had a community pharmacy QOF” and a plea from me – JDI – we can make it better later.
Following the pharmacy challenge in a previous blog:
What do we want – a community pharmacy Quality and Outcome Framework.
When do we want it – April 2014.