Developing new national guidance on substance misuse pharmacy services

The College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP) has been appointed by the Department of Health and Social Care’s new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) to produce new national guidance on substance misuse pharmacy services.

The CMHP will build on the considerable expertise within its membership to bring together and work with a group of experts and key stakeholders to advise on development of the guidance.

Community pharmacies are commissioned to provide a range of substance misuse services, including:

  • Supervised consumption of opioid substitution treatment medicines
  • Needle and syringe provision
  • Take home naloxone provision

As part of these services, pharmacies often provide a level of assessment and care of people who use substances above and beyond that expected than some other patient groups.

With expert and stakeholder input, the CMHP will develop written guidance on the provision of, and contracting for, substance misuse services provided by community pharmacies, building from guidance provided in 2006.

The guidance will reflect and build on the outcomes of discussions underway in 2021 between representatives of substance misuse treatment commissioners and providers, community pharmacies and others.

The new document should be drafted by the end of the current financial year. Interested parties may contact CMHP ([email protected]) for further information.

CMHP President Ciara Ni Dhubhlaing said: “We are looking forward to working with OHID and key stakeholders to create these new guidelines over the forthcoming months. In line with our charitable objectives, we anticipate that they will have a meaningful impact upon those who commission, provide and receive substance misuse services provided by community pharmacy colleagues.”

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