|Implemented in this survey?|
Subject to a ballot by pharmacists, a new contract for community pharmacists will be introduced on April 1st 2005. The new contract will reimburse pharmacists on the basis of the range and quality of services they provide, rather than on the volume of medicines they dispense, and is part of the Government's plans to create a more flexible, choice-orientated health care service.
The objective is to widen the range of services provided by local pharmacists, so as to offer a more convenient service to patients. Under the new contract, pharmacists will be financially rewarded for the range and quality of services they provide, rather than purely on the volume of medicines they dispense. For example, it is intended that community services will be reimbursed for checking blood pressure, monitoring blood glucose levels, offering smoking cessation advice, and promoting healthy lifesyles. Pharmacists will also be able to dispense repeat prescriptions without the patient needing to revisit their doctor for up to a year at a time, subject to the prior agreement of both the GP and the pharmacist. The new contract will be introduced on April 1st 2005, subject to agreement via a ballot by pharmacists (who are expected to approve the idea).
|Medienpräsenz||sehr gering||sehr hoch|
With the perceived need by Government to make the NHS more responsive.
|Implemented in this survey?|
The current Labour Government, in line with previous Conservative administrations, aims to create a more 'consumer'-driven NHS, which they believe will improve the responsiveness of the system. The new community pharmacy contract is part of this wider reform agenda, where the intention is for health services to be provided by a more diverse range of providers than has previously been the case. This, it is believed, will expand choice, and make using the NHS more convenient for patients. Thus, the proposal fits in with the movement towards making the NHS more patient-led and less-provider-led, which has its roots with the introduction of new public management in the mid 1980s.
The approach of the idea is described as:
The Government are clearly in support of the idea, as it fits in with their current drive to expand choice in the NHS. The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (acting on behalf of the pharmacists) and the NHS Confederation negotiated and agreed to the new contract, and the pharmacists are expected to support the new contract in a ballot to be held in late 2004. The Government expects patients to appreciate the greater flexibility in the supply of the many health care services that fall under the new contract.
|Government||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|Pharmacists||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|Patients||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|not specified||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
|non-specified||sehr unterstützend||stark dagegen|
In order to become policy, the pharmacists have to vote for the new contract in a ballot, which they are likely to do.
|not specified||sehr groß||kein|
The main actors in ensuring the success of the policy will be the Government (in devising appropriate planning and reimbursement), the pharmacists (in initiating and developing the new services in community pharmacies, by acting on the financial incentives offered), and patients (in taking advantage of the services in community pharmacies, many of which were previously available only through their GP).
Details of method of evaluation have not yet been released, but I would think that both the process of application and outcome will be monitored.
I think that people will probably use pharmacists for repeat prescriptions and for assessing blood pressure and other minor procedures, as it will be far more convenient and less costly (in terms of time and, for example, travel costs) than visiting a GP. Pharmacists are also very capable of undertaking these extra tasks at no obvious danger to patients. Thus, the effects on access, and, potentially, costs, may be positive.
|Qualität||kaum Einfluss||starker Einfluss|
|Gerechtigkeit||System weniger gerecht||System gerechter|
|Kosteneffizienz||sehr gering||sehr hoch|
Too early to judge.