Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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The future of pharmacy services in England - integration, optimising service delivery, and the developing role in public health and responding to COVID-19

Morning, Wednesday, 10th February 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will discuss priorities going forward into the third year of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework and the role of pharmacy in the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The discussion at a glance:

  • the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework - progress, developments from the second year, and priorities for the upcoming year
  • COVID-19 - how pharmacy is responding, including:
    • adapting practice and prioritising vulnerable individuals
    • supporting the rollout of the winter flu vaccine and preparing for the potential rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine
  • public health policy priorities - patient safety, the role of pharmacy in improving prevention, moving forward on integration, and providing continuity of care
  • innovation - how pharmacies are evolving, the future for digital innovation, and opportunities and next steps for optimising pharmacy delivery

The agenda:

  • Key developments and priorities going forward for the delivery of pharmacy services
  • The workforce, delivering community care, and ensuring safety during the pandemic
  • The role of pharmacy in at the UK transitions from vaccine rollout and more widely in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and following transition from the EU 
  • Pharmacy regulation during a pandemic
  • Taking forward improvements to pharmacy aseptic services in England
  • Optimising the delivery of pharmacy services and community health - integration and improving patient care, reducing overprescribing, and the role in prevention and addressing inequalities
  • Digitisation of pharmacy services and next steps for innovation and the use of technology

A scan of relevant developments:

  • Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework five-year deal: year 2 - with a focus on transitioning into improved integrated care and aligning with general practice
  • Letter to medicines and medical product suppliers - ahead of EU transition, DHSC calling on community pharmacies not to stockpile locally and not to alter usual prescribing or ordering patterns
  • Thank you to all community pharmacy staff: letter from Jo Churchill MP - the Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care Minister showing appreciation for the contribution during the pandemic
  • vaccination - the enhanced winter flu programme and preparations for a rollout of COVID-19 inoculation 
  • Transforming NHS pharmacy aseptic services in England - the report from Lord Carter of Coles with recommendations including:
    • creating a network of collaborative regional hub aseptic facilities to prepare large scale injectable medicines
    • working with Royal Colleges and pharmacy specialists develop national guidance for standard injectable medicines
    • strengthening the accountability and responsibility around the unlicensed preparation of aseptic medicines, and the role of the Chief Pharmacist 
  • the National Overprescribing Review - with the HSJ reporting proposals that the law should require wider access to healthcare data, to help improve safety for those wrongly prescribed drugs

Key areas for discussion:

  • the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework:
    • assessing progress on key ambitions in:
      • the CPCF - moving forward on closer working with general practice and how this can be taken forward
      • the NHS Long Term Plan - around the increased role of pharmacists in prevention and the integration of patient care
    • the pandemic:
      • the role of pharmacy - challenges and opportunities that the crisis has presented in advancing the role of pharmacy in the community
      • looking forward - priorities for the third year and how this can take into consideration the role that pharmacy continues to play in responding to the pandemic
    • the workforce - options for further support for their work in delivering community pharmacy and safe patient care during the pandemic, and in light of the additional work for pharmacists
    • joint working - progress and outstanding issues in pharmacy working as part of an integrated care team
  • COVID-19 response:
    • the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service - how pharmacy has been maintaining patient access to clinical advice, including taking urgent care referrals from NHS 111
    • stepping up - issues and what has been learned from:
      • how pharmacy has put in place safe methods to continue its services
      • ways that it has supported vulnerable and elderly patients
      • the use of digital and innovative methods in continuing care
    • vaccination - priorities for preparing for a potential rollout of COVID-19 vaccine, and how the high demand and expansion of this year’s winter flu vaccination scheme was managed
    • regulation - assessing arrangements that have been made and the impact achieving both the safety and flexibility required to enable an effective frontline response
  • leaving the EU - assessing the priorities and options for responding to pressures, including those relating to medicines supply, following the end of the transition of the UK from the European Union
  • optimising pharmacy delivery:
    • public health policy priorities - progress and next steps for community pharmacy in:
      • tackling health inequalities and scaling up the prevention role of pharmacists
      • widening awareness, and providing education and training
    • integration - inclusion of clinical pharmacists in each primary care network, assessing progress and how development of efficiencies and collaborative working can be supported
  • pharmacy aseptic services - next steps following the recommendations from Lord Carter of Coles on collaborative regional hubs, developing guidance, licencing, and the role of the Chief Pharmacist
  • addressing overprescribing - in the context of the National Overprescribing Review, with discussion expected on securing efficiencies and patient benefits through:
    • coordination to reduce over-medication through across primary and secondary care
    • use of medication reviews and patient-centred care, to ensure the medication meets patient needs
    • increasing the adoption of social prescribing methods
    • information sharing - with reported proposals for wider access to healthcare data to help improve safety and help prevent medicines being wrongly prescribed
  • innovation - including the use of digital methods within pharmacy:
    • learning from the pandemic - next steps for bedding in successful developments
    • accessibility - ways to ensure that digital methods improve patient choice, are inclusive and digital exclusion is minimised, and that they can provide a safe space for those that are vulnerable
    • patient safety -  development of safeguards and standards for the digitisation of services and the use of online pharmacies
    • the electronic prescription service - assessing benefits including impact of efficiency, progress in national rollout, and the way forward for it scaling up across England

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from stakeholders from across the health sector, NHS, pharmacies, Local Pharmacy Committees, CCGs, local authorities, the pharmaceutical industry, research and development organisations, executive agencies, regulators, the independent and third sector, patient groups, manufacturers, law firms and consultancies, academics and think tanks, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Professor Claire Anderson

Chair, Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England and Professor of Social Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacy Practice and Policy, School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham

Duncan Rudkin

Chief Executive and Registrar, General Pharmaceutical Council

Keynote Speakers

Professor Claire Anderson

Chair, Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England and Professor of Social Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacy Practice and Policy, School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham

Duncan Rudkin

Chief Executive and Registrar, General Pharmaceutical Council


Paul Bristow MP

Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pharmacy


Malcolm Harrison

Chief Executive, Company Chemists Association

Aneet Kapoor

Chair, Greater Manchester Local Pharmaceutical Committee

Dr Ian Maidment

Reader in Clinical Pharmacy, Aston University

Peter Horrocks

Lead Pharmacist, Greater Middlesbrough Primary Care Network and Superintendent Pharmacist, Knights Pharmacy