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Community Pharmacy Leaders Forum meeting update

Community Pharmacy Leaders Forum meeting update

The Community Pharmacy Leaders Forum (CPLF) met on Wednesday 1 November in Auckland at Green Cross Health Ltd. CPLF is chaired by the Guild’s President, with the Guild also taking responsibility for organising CPLF meetings.

CPLF represents the strengthening of community pharmacy’s voice and fronts industry leadership. The forum also focuses on how the profession continues to advocate for the delivery of people-centred care within local communities.

This month’s meeting provided the opportunity to discuss a number of key sector issues. CPLF Chair, Graeme Blanchard, said “As this was our first meeting since the recent election, CPLF members were keen to discuss the opportunities that the new government may present for community pharmacy. All representatives were in agreement that, to date, we were very impressed with newly appointed Health Minister Hon Dr David Clark’s passion and commitment to mobilise New Zealand’s health sector to deliver better health outcomes for our people and to facilitate our health care professionals to work at the top of their scopes of practice. It was also refreshing to reflect on his comments that as far as he can see, pharmacy is working well as it is and that he is sceptical about the need to deregulate pharmacy. CPLF agreed that Dr Clark had the support and goodwill of the entire sector as he embarks on his journey of overseeing our health sector.

“With the change in government, CPLF sees some real opportunities for the community pharmacy sector to demonstrate how we can help bridge the health equity gap, and how we can help get the best out of our health care sector within available resources.

“Community pharmacists are respected medicine management specialists, delivering professional advice around medicine, safety, and quality, within an accessible, and affordable service model that is embedded in the hearts of all communities. Community pharmacy works with some of our most vulnerable and high-risk populations. Their insight and knowledge of how our primary care sector is working, or falling short, for our patients, is invaluable and we intend to make good use of this.

“CPLF congratulated Green Cross Health and Natalie Gauld Limited for the exceptional work they have done to successfully have selected oral contraceptives reclassified and available from appropriately trained community pharmacists. This is a new pharmacy service that genuinely puts patients at the forefront of health care, and immensely improves access to oral contraceptives for women.

“This change will have a significant positive impact on New Zealand women, providing them with convenient access to the oral contraceptive, when and where they need it. Many community pharmacies are open late nights and weekends which is often more convenient without the need for an appointment. Community pharmacists have also welcomed the opportunity to enhance their clinical skills, with many having already undergone the training to enable them to provide the oral contraceptive to eligible women.

“The future provision of the Community Pharmacy Anticoagulation Monitoring Service (CPAMS) was discussed. CPLF were in agreement that this is a highly valuable community pharmacy service that is very much appreciated by patients and their health care teams alike. The results have proved to be outstanding for many patients, while also being a much faster and more convenient service for patients to access, in comparison to having to visit blood laboratories to have their INR tested. Like our patients, we want to see this service expanded and made accessible to more patients throughout New Zealand.

“The excellent work that our community pharmacy groups are doing for the sector and patients was discussed and many ideas to further enhance the value of pharmacy were brought to light.

“Additionally, the group discussed the development of the CPSA, the progression of smoking cessation services, mental health LTC services, and workforce development which resulted from our last contract extension. Discussion was largely focused on ensuring community pharmacy has a robust and quality system in place that facilitates the delivery of professional advice and health care services to benefit the health and wellbeing of our communities.

“This was another collaborative and effective meeting of CPLF and we look forward to future opportunities and demonstrating how pharmacy can play a pivotal role in delivering primary health care to our communities.” ENDS

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