Integrated Pharmacist Services in the Community
Pharmacists, together with other health care professionals, will need to work differently in the future to respond to the ever-growing demands on the health system.
Integrated Pharmacist Services in the Community is the result of discussions held at a number of stakeholder forums to understand how pharmacists can best respond to those demands.
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With the current contract called the Community Pharmacy Services Agreement 2012 (CPSA) due to expire, District Health Boards recognise the need to adapt the contract to keep pace with the changing environment of health care delivery.
The CPSA introduced a patient-centred service model. However, it is a one-size-fits-all approach that largely funds all pharmacy owners to provide the same services.
It does not provide any extra benefits or services for consumers, nor does it allow District Health Boards to tailor services to meet the needs of their local communities.
In April 2016 the Minister of Health launched a refreshed 10 year New Zealand Health Strategy which outlines the high level direction of New Zealand’s health system from 2016 to 2026.
This was closely followed by the launch of New Zealand’s first Pharmacy Action Plan 2016 – 2020 in June. The five-year Plan outlines a set of actions to support pharmacists to deliver maximum value to the health system and contribute to the objectives of the New Zealand Health Strategy.
District Health Boards will use the Pharmacy Action Plan vision to guide the design and delivery of Integrated Pharmacist Services in the Community.
What will the future look like?
People are at the centre of our health system. People are the focus of this Action Plan.
Pharmacist services, as an integrated component of a people-powered1, collaborative model of care, will be delivered in innovative ways, across a broad range of settings, so that everyone has equitable access to medicines and health care services. The health care team will fully use the unique and complementary skill set of pharmacists, as medicines management experts. The focus will be on delivering high-quality care, supported by smart systems, that:
- is responsive to the changing health needs of New Zealanders
- empowers them to manage their own health and wellbeing better, as part of a one-team approach that supports people to live longer, but also to spend more of that life in good health.2
This new direction will see District Health Boards move away from a transaction-based funding system, to one that is flexible enough to meet local consumer need and enhances the healthcare and medicines management expertise delivered by pharmacists.
The way consumers receive pharmacist services in the future will be based on the services that each pharmacy is contracted to provide by their local District Health Board through a new contract that:
- places consumers at the centre of any service delivery
- promotes pharmacists as the experts in medicines management
- has the flexibility to support local service delivery to meet community needs
- aligns with government plans such as the NZ Health Strategy and Pharmacy Action Plan.
District Health Boards will also focus on improving health outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, and supporting four other groups, which are set out in the Pharmacy Action Plan:
- Consumers with chronic conditions.
- Frail and elderly.
- Mental health consumers.
- Giving every child a healthy start.
Read the vision booklet Evolving Consumer Focused Pharmacist Services to find out more.
For District Health Boards successful implementation and delivery of Integrated Pharmacist Services in the Community will mean different things for different people.
For you as a consumer it will mean:
- you understand what your community pharmacists can do for you and what services can be provided to help improve your health
- you can access the integrated pharmacist services that matter to you where and when, and how you need them
- you can be confident that you are getting the right medicines and are being provided with advice on how to take them safely
For you as a pharmacist it will mean:
- you are recognised by other health professionals and consumers as professional and valued members of an experienced clinical health care team
- your skills and experience are more fully utilised to help consumers make the right choices
- you have more opportunities to build trusted relationships with the wider primary care team.
For the wider health system it will mean:
- we are all better able to support the health and wellness of New Zealanders
- we all use resources more effectively
- we all have a more integrated and cohesive system that works in the best interests of New Zealanders
Achieving the vision for Integrated Pharmacist Services in the Community will not happen overnight.
We’re still in the early stages, and it’s important to make sure the changes needed to achieve success are well thought through and will involve ongoing discussion and work, with the wider pharmacy sector, consumers and others in the coming years.
If you have a question, or would like more information about Integrated Pharmacist Services in the Community, you can: