Community pharmacy, optometry and dental commissioning
From 1st July 2022, NHS Surrey Heartlands has taken on delegated responsibility for NHS England’s community pharmacy, optometry and dental commissioning functions under powers set out in the Health and Care Act.
As primary care is the front door to the NHS – based in our communities and on our high streets – we are keen for community pharmacy, optometry and dentistry to have a voice in our decision-making. This also provides an opportunity to further integrate pathways of care for the benefit of patients.
This is a transitional process; as part of the operating model for delegation of community pharmacy, optometry and dental services in the South East, the NHS England primary care team (who remain employees of NHS England) will continue to work on our behalf during a transition period.
This will help ensure a smooth transition with providers able to continue working with a team which already has knowledge and expertise about these services, whilst NHS Surrey Heartlands is taking responsibility through our governance arrangements.
These governance arrangements include the NHS Surrey Heartlands Pharmacy, Optometry and Dentistry Committee which meets in common with committees from the other five NHS Integrated Care Boards across the South East (these are: Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West; Frimley; Hampshire and Isle of Wight; Sussex; and Kent and Medway.
The Surrey Heartlands Pharmacy, Optometry and Dentistry Committee meets in common with these other committees to ensure the safe and effective discharge of NHS England’s delegation agreement for pharmacy, optometry and dentistry across the South East, including managing existing contracts within their contractual frameworks to ensure compliance with regulations, policy and guidance.