There has long been a case for change on how local health services can be delivered and the vehicle for this much needed and debated reform has been set today in the unveiling of ‘Health and Wellbeing 2026 – Delivering Together‘. Gerard Greene, CPNI said, “We welcome that within the vision outlined today, the Health Minister has specifically recognised community pharmacy as being an important part of primary care which can help to reduce pressure on other parts of the HSC”.
Referring to the plan as a ‘fresh start’ the change mapped out will be planned, managed and incremental with 18 time-specific actions based on the Bengoa Report. Two of which focus on community pharmacy:
Action point 5. Begin development of a new framework to fully realise the potential of community pharmacy services to support better health outcomes from medicines and prevent illness.
This is supplemented by a further action point to, “…roll out access to the electronic care record (NIECR) to community pharmacists”.
Gerard Greene outlined what this would mean to the patient, “Actions such as the roll out of the NIECR will allow community pharmacists to improve the support, advice and treatment they provide, enabling the patients to benefit from immediate decisions based on accurate information in a convenient location”.
With unrivalled access, community pharmacy is well placed to innovate and adapt to the specific needs of the local community, allowing the profession to play an integral part in the population based health approach outlined today. Mr Greene continued, “The Minister would like to utilise community pharmacy more – particularly to support improved public health and engagement with the public to ensure medicines are being used appropriately. As the Minster said today, community pharmacists can do so much and are crying out to do more. It is refreshing to see that this plan recognises the enthusiasm and commitment within the community pharmacy profession to support better patient outcomes for all – regardless of backgrounds”.
Gerard Greene, CPNI concluded “We are committed to playing our part to help achieve the goals set out in this document and we look forward to meeting with the Minister to discuss ways, including the development of a new community pharmacy contract, which will help to deliver her vision for the future of HSC”.