Pharmacies ready for enhanced role in health sector

Out-Law News | 02 Sep 2019 | 2:30 pm |

The move to fund heart check-ups at hundreds of community pharmacies in England is to be welcomed given the "untapped potential" of those pharmacies to "take a more active role in primary care", an expert in health sector law and contracts has said.

Louise Fullwood of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, was commenting after it was reported that community pharmacies would offer free, in-store heart check-ups to the public under a five-year contract agreed by the NHS. The agreement comes following an earlier pilot initiative, the BBC reported.

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said: "Heart disease and strokes dramatically cut short lives, and leave thousands of people disabled every year, so rapid detection of killer conditions through high street heart checks will be a game-changer."

Fullwood said pharmacies are well-placed to take some of the burden in delivering healthcare services from busy GPs.

"Pharmacists have the training and expertise to assist patients with this sort of diagnostic test as well as discussing their wider healthcare and wellbeing issues and helping with medicines management," Fullwood said.

"From a legal perspective, the pharmacies will want to ensure that all staff involved in such activities have any necessary training updates, that any data collected is handled in accordance with data privacy requirements, that they have standard operating procedures to cover these activities and also confirm that their insurance policies cover such interactions and advice," she said.