The Future of Aseptic Pharmacy Services in England: Report on Phase 1 of the NHSI Review (Feb 2019 v.2)

Tim Root, Assistant Head, Medicines Assurance, NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service, Specialist Pharmacy ServicePublished

A key recommendation from Lord Carter’s report “Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations” is to shift the balance of activity in the pharmacy workforce from essential pharmacy infrastructure services to clinically facing roles.
Each non specialist acute trust in England then produced a Hospital Pharmacy Transformation Plan (HPTP) by April 2017. Many of these contained plans to change and consolidate aseptic services, through new service delivery models and exploitation of technology to free more clinical pharmacy time for patient facing activity . At the same time there is constant growth in the volume of products that need aseptic manipulation and preparation and the acknowledgement of significant fragility in the commercial sector.
Thus to inform decision making, NHS Improvement undertook a review of the provision pharmacy aseptic services including MHRA licensed, unlicensed an outsourced (both from NHS Providers and non-NHS commercial suppliers) activity. Product categories included in the review are chemotherapy, parenteral nutrition, clinical trials / investigational medicinal products, and pharmacy-led radiopharmacy.
Specific aspects of these services on which information was sought included: geographical location, capacity (staff and facilities), estate & equipment, management structure, staffing establishment, operational costs, service hours, range of products & services provided, and customer base.

The attached report summarises findings from the first phase of the Review and recommended next steps to be taken in Phase 2, which started in February 2019