NHS: Drugs

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 30 January 2023.

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Photo of Chris Green Chris Green Conservative, Bolton West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of concerns raised by the British Society for Rheumatology with the National Homecare Medicines Committee, Care Quality Commission and General Pharmaceutical Council on the safety and performance of homecare medicines services across England.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Department is aware of the British Society for Rheumatology’s (BSR) concerns. Providers of Homecare Medicine services to National Health Service patients do so under framework agreements which may be held at national with NHS England and regional at NHS procurement hubs or local at hospital trust level. This requires a high degree of centralised co-ordination for which the National Homecare Medicines Committee (NHMC) supports and advises the NHS on matters relating to homecare medicines services. The committee liaises with homecare providers through their trade association the National Clinical Homecare Association (NCHA) to support and co-ordinate development of the homecare market and discuss any system wide issues.

When the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) indicate that the services levels of a provider on a national NHS England framework or NHS regional framework or contract are not to the standard expected, the NHMC which is managed by and includes representation from NHS England enacts an escalation process which involves meetings with individual providers to discuss safety and performance issues. If necessary, the regulators the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC) are also informed.

The NCHA and NHMC have met with the British Society for Rheumatology to discuss their concerns. Proposals are currently being discussed between the parties to establish a formal, ongoing dialogue which may also include representation from other medical specialties.

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