NHS IS NOT READY TO DEAL WITH EXTRA CANCER REFERRALS BY PHARMACISTS
The disease that makes you close to death within a week or month. This unbeatable disease is described as Cancer one of the most horrible disease. It is among the most feared diseases that people are afraid of.
This disease had made many problems in the nose of every doctor and hasn’t been fully defeated yet. Although there are many types of cancer, some of them cures had been found but others are just increasing the population of the people getting affected by cancer each year. Cancer nearly kills more than 10 million people every year.
The NHS( National health system) has also been bothered by this disease. Following the implementation of the new community pharmacy cancer diagnosis pilot, the Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA) charity expressed concerns about the NHS’s “diagnostic capacity to handle the number of referrals” from pharmacy teams.
Patients experiencing symptoms such as a persistent cough, trouble swallowing, or blood in their urine can be referred to specialists by community pharmacy teams for scans and examinations without needing to visit a GP, according to NHS England and NHS Improvement.
PCA, which assisted in the development of the pilot, has advocated for pharmacists to assess and refer patients in this way “for over a decade” and “developed proposals of what a system of cancer referrals for pharmacists would look like” with the NHS Cancer Programme, according to a statement released yesterday. According to the organization, pharmacists who provide the service have the potential to save “thousands of lives” by making referrals.
“There is still some fear,” it said, “that [there] will not be the diagnostic capability to deal with the number of referrals generated by our highly qualified pharmacist community.”
PCA’s concerns stem from “severe challenges with diagnostic capacity and workforce shortages currently producing referral backlogs,” according to Ali Stunt, the organization’s founder and CEO. “The system [pharmacists] are referring to needs to be fit for purpose,” she said, adding that teams must also receive “the essential training.”
The British Oncology Pharmacy Association’s training, designed by C+D award-winning pharmacist Jackie Lewis and her team, is now available via the e-learning for health platform, according to Jill Loader, deputy director for pharmacy commissioning at NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Day by day cancer referrals are increasing and this pharmacist team is going to be a big help for the NHS to handle cancer referrals. However, “A projected lack of 1,934 radiologists across the UK,” a PCA representative told C+D today, “equal to a 33 percent gap for what is needed to manage the number of referrals.” “There is a similar lack of radiographers,” they stated. The problems with diagnostic capacity were recognized by Ade Williams, lead pharmacist at Bedminster Pharmacy in Bristol and a PCA pharmacist advocate.
He emphasized, however, that this did not “diminish the importance of these referrals.”He acknowledged that workforce shortages must be acknowledged. “If the data shows us there’s a poverty today, it suggests that if that scarcity isn’t addressed… it will only become terrible as more referrals come in,” he added.
“It’s critical that the rigor of research and data support all of these new offerings.” Mr. Williams continued, “What we expect to be able to say is that community pharmacies being able to undertake part of the journey did not result in problems.”