Implications of the draft ICP contract

A series of documents have been published in support of NHS England’s consultation on the proposed Integrated Care Provider (ICP) Contract. They provides detail about how the ICP Contract would underpin integration between services, how it differs from existing NHS contracts, how ICPs fit into the broader commissioning system, and which organisations could hold the ICP Contract.

This development has serious implications for all pharmacists working in the NHS and care systems. A new commissioning landscape is being developed like no other before.

The delivery of health and care services is to be local under the ICP contract which depends on the following:

  • Creation of and publication of shared vision of the system
  • Agreement of common clinical protocols
  • Identification of patients
  • Participation in and signposting to core ICP services
  • Development and maintenance of Multi-disciplinary teams
  • Development of shared systems and access to information
  • A comprehensive estates plan
  • Development and recruitment of workforce
  • Ensuring that access is appropriate to the need and cost
  • Shared governance of the system

Key implications for pharmacist and owners:
the imminent development of local primary care networks will require each pharmacy to focus on the aspects of integrated delivery of services and be fullyau fait with the dynamics and politics of the local ICS. Working in an engaged MDT would require a very different approach: clinical competence, good ethical approach not just legal, formation of relationships and digital and other communication skills. In particular, it is important for the employers to consider how its employees and themselves can benefit from working in Primary Care Networks to provide more joined-up care for patients and to reduce pressures on the General Practice and A&E workforce. Whilst the national contract might not be in danger of immediate demise, I do not expect the same beyond 2022 at the latest. It defies logic to have a national contract for community pharmacy when all other care is integrated on basis of ‘shared incentives for shared outcomes’.

The consultation closes on 26th October and I feel that every pharmacist needs to consider responding to ensure that its members are supported and their collective voice articulated.

The consultation is available on

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