Expansion of pharmacies’ clinical offering fails to offset crisis in general practice

The move by the NHS community pharmacy sector to bolster its clinical offer to patients by expanding into hypertension case-finding and smoking cessation services is a welcome development, but the wider crisis in primary healthcare provision remains.

From October, more than 11,000 pharmacies which have signed up to the ‘community pharmacy contractual framework’ (CPCF)  – a five-year deal already agreed by NHS England (NHSE), the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) – will offer the first of these services, providing blood-pressure checks to people aged 40 and over, under the mantle of hypertension case-finding.

According to NHSE, this service simply involves a free blood-pressure check as part of a 10-15 minute consultation with a trained member of the pharmacy team, following which patients “may be invited to take home a blood-pressure monitor” to take further readings, or alternatively they may be referred on to a GP.

Full story in The Lowdown, 26 August 2021