Link up will boost independent community pharmacies’ online presence to broaden services
Charac – an NHS-integrated one-stop platform for independent community pharmacies – alongside the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), has announced their long-term partnership to allow pharmacies to deliver the broad range of services needed to support the public.
It follows Health Secretary Therese Coffey’s calls for an expansion of the role of community pharmacies in a bid to free up two million GP appointments. It also comes at a time when pharmacies are needed more than ever, due to GP shortages and pressures across the NHS.
By 2026, all new pharmacy graduates will now qualify as prescribers, while pharmacies have been trumpeted by the government as an alternative option for consultations. Ultimately, however, they will need to free up the capacity and means to do this effectively.
One of the biggest opportunities for improving efficiencies is to digitise certain tasks, in order to free up more time for patient care.
The partnership is part of the NPA’s wider efforts to improve the online presence of community pharmacies, including patient application, online booking, website design and delivery services. The new joint ecosystem will provide pharmacies with the necessary funding and technology to aid delivery of primary care.
Santosh Sahu, Founder of Charac, explained: “Partnering with the NPA is another massive milestone for Charac and reflects the great strides we are taking in assisting independent community pharmacies. We are thrilled to announce our long-term partnership with such a well-respected and influential organisation, particularly at a time where the cost-of-living crisis, a looming recession and a stretched NHS have created a perfect storm for the new health secretary.”
Simon Tebbutt, Director of Membership at the NPA, added: “It is an exciting opportunity to work with a company with the ambition of Charac as one of our trusted partners. Charac presented an attractive solution to enable community pharmacies to modernise their platforms, and we look forward to working towards this shared goal.”
Since 2016, some 650 community pharmacies have closed, due to NHS England funding cuts and rising costs.