The NHS must not wait until GP commissioning arrangements are up and running before starting to try and achieve improved clinical outcomes, the National Pharmacy Association has warned.

Failure to push forward with existing community health initiatives risked the NHS “sliding back” during to transition to the new GP led system.

Responding to the consultation on the Liberating the NHS white paper, the trade body said it agreed with the principle of giving frontline health care professionals more say over investment.

The association, which represents community pharmacy owners, also said there must be inclusive and transparent processes for the appointments of key roles around GP commissioning.

National Pharmacy Association chair Ian Facer said pharmacies could help towards achieving better health outcomes and the development of pharmacy services need not wait until consortia are set up.

He said: “The period between now and the settling in of new commissioning arrangements must be one of progress in the NHS, not sliding back. For example, early moves on a national medicines concordance scheme could bring about tangible benefits in every community.”