Clinical pharmacists in general practice: pilot scheme evaluation

University of Nottingham

This evaluation report showed that clinical pharmacists significantly increase patient appointment capacity and reduce pressure on GPs. More than 490 clinical pharmacists were placed in over 650 practices across England in the pilot project which supports the aim of having over 2,000 clinical pharmacists working in general practice by 2020/21 – a ratio of one per 30,000 patients. The research team investigated the work of the newly created clinical pharmacist roles from the perspectives of the pharmacists, those working immediately with them in their roles, professional stakeholders and patients.


Healthcare in 2088 – how will research and innovation transform the NHS in the next 70 years?

NIHR| August 2018 | Healthcare in 2088 – how will research and innovation transform the NHS in the next 70 years?

Professor Mike Trenell, Director at NIHR Innovation Observatory, envisages how the NHS might look in 70 years’ time. Acknowledging this is difficult to predict for a decade’s time, it is much more problematic to prepare further ahead.  Instead, Professor Trenell and his colleagues at the NIHR Innovation Observatory keep an eye on what the future holds. Helping the NHS and healthcare leaders to understand future medicines, devices and diagnostics helps to shape policy, regulation and approvals and stimulate research activity.

The full blog post is available from NIHR 

They identify three areas that will influence the future of healthcare

  1. Digital Healthcare:
    In the future, whether you access a GP through a video call, artificial intelligence is used to interpret your MRI scan, or your phone lets you know what dose of a drug to take – digital healthcare holds the potential to fundamentally change how we access and provide care.
  2. Changing Genes:The ability to alter genetic coding was established in 2012, a technology called Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats – CRISPR. But scientists and care teams have translated this into ways to tailor immune therapies to attack cancers or cut out mutations that cause disease.

    Research taking place in this area right now provides a glimpse of how gene editing might affect future care. For example, researchers funded by the NIHR’s Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme are conducting a clinical trial looking at using gene therapy to replace the faulty gene that causes the incurable eye disease choroideremia with a healthy one.

    The ability to modify genes will have deep implications for the management and prevention of some diseases, but it will also have deep societal and ethical implications.

  3. Looking after ourselvesThis area is not an innovation by definition, but it will have important implications for us all. Today the NHS has developed into a world leading health care provision service, but is being challenged by the pressures being put upon it. Obesity rates continue to rise and physical activity levels falling. Although the NHS is keeping us alive longer, it comes at a very real financial and individual cost (are the extra years actually of a quality we would like?).

    We are moving from an era of biomedical enlightenment into a realisation of its limitations. The future will involve a greater balance of disease prevention and public health as well as disease management – we need to revisit the original remit of the NHS and create a “wellbeing culture”.

    The full, unabridged post is available from NIHR 


How to produce a Sustainable Development Management Plan

NHS Improvement | July 2018 | How to produce a Sustainable Development Management Plan

NHS Improvement have produced joint guidance and resources with the Sustainable Development Unit to help boards lead their organisations to deliver sustainable healthcare — maximising efficiency in resources and delivering positive health benefits for their local communities.

Organisations have a duty to protect the health of future generations by reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change. The health and care system reduced emissions by 18.5% up to 2017. While this is good progress, it is still behind the trajectory needed to achieve the Climate Change Act 2020 target of 34% — highlighting the need for all organisations to accelerate efforts going forward.

NHS Improvement’s  resources support organisations to produce their SDMP to address areas such as:

  • air pollution
  • energy, waste and water efficiency
  • greenspace
  • carbon emissions
  • adaptation
  • staff engagement in social and environmental activity

Full details from NHS Improvement

How to produce a Sustainable Development Management Plan can be downloaded here

The NHS saves over £300 million in a year by switching to better value medicines

NHS Improvement | July 2018 | The NHS saves £324 million in a year by switching to better value medicines

NHS Improvement have released figures that show how the NHS has made savings of £324 million using biosimilar medicines, a biological medicine highly similar to another biological medicine.  These better value biosimilar and generic medicines, which are just as safe and effective as the more expensive original biological versions,  an example being the Biosimilars of trastuzumab, breast cancer drug prescribed in place of the branded medicine Herceptin. They are also being used to treat conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, some forms of cancer and inflammatory bowel conditions.

pill-1884777_1920Further details of savings can be found at NHS Improvement 


The King’s Fund From lab to bedside: ensuring new medicines are available in a cost-effective and timely way


New NHS app will make it quicker and easier to access health services

The free app will be available to everyone in England in December 2018


The new NHS app will give patients safe and secure access to their GP record. Patients will be able to use it to:

  • make GP appointments
  • order repeat prescriptions
  • manage long-term conditions
  • access 111 online for urgent medical queries

It means patients will be able to secure a GP appointment with the click of a button, rather than join a queue of callers attempting to ring the local surgery at the same time each morning.

Patients will also be able to use the app to state their preferences relating to:

  • data-sharing
  • organ donation
  • end-of-life care

The app has been developed by NHS Digital and NHS England. It will be available through the App Store or Google Play and once downloaded users can simply sign up for an NHS account.

Full story here

Achieving the Provision of Integrated Care

This report traces the development and impact of integrated care to date, highlights some examples of successful practice and draws out the key lessons for later-adopters |  National Association of Primary Care

This report suggests that a number of of factors – ageing populations, an increased prevalence of multiple chronic disease and rising expectations of what health care and technology can offer –  combined with limited human and financial resources, have placed health  systems under intolerable and unsustainable strain.

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Integrated Care Systems, where health providers collaborate with other community  stakeholders to prevent ill health, provide more comprehensive care closer to home, keep people out of hospital and reduce costs, is seen as the antidote to these problems. This approach is now spreading around the world, taking many different forms from country to country.

This report of a two-day symposium attended by health experts from the UK, USA and Ireland, traces the development and impact of integrated care to date, highlights some examples of successful practice and draws out the key lessons for later-adopters.

Full report:

Achieving the Provision of Integrated Care:  Exploring the development and successful
implementation internationally of new models of integrated care


How fixing the NHS’s broken pay system can deliver better outcomes for patients

An NHS bonus: how fixing the NHS’s broken pay system can deliver better outcomes for patients | Centre for Policy Studies

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This report argues that by introducing greater flexibility into the system, and linking pay more closely with performance and objectives, both NHS productivity and patient outcomes could be improved. It urges the Government, and NHS managers, to make reform of the pay system an urgent priority as part of the new funding settlement.

Full report available here