30+ MPs attend Community Pharmacy England’s winter pressures event

Community Pharmacy England briefed 34 MPs about the impact of winter pressures on pharmacies at a drop-in event at the Houses of Parliament today (5th December).

Our event, hosted by Judith Cummins MP, was organised as a way to talk to as many MPs as possible about the current winter pressures that pharmacies, like all parts of the NHS, are grappling with. However, we also outlined just how much pharmacies are doing to support patients, their local communities and the wider health service.

MPs from across all political parties dropped in throughout the afternoon with members of the Community Pharmacy England Policy Team, our Committee and LPC leaders on hand to brief them. The event was also supported by the other national community pharmacy representative bodies: CCA and the NPA, as well as LPC representatives

At the event we asked for MPs to help get more support for pharmacies in the face of the current pressures, inviting them to co-sign a letter to the Pharmacy Minister. The letter calls for urgent consideration of three measures:

  1. A commitment to working with the sector to create a fair and fit for purpose core funding model;
  2. Effectively implement and develop the Pharmacy First service to allow patients to have walk-in consultations for minor conditions; and
  3. Build on other clinical service areas such as vaccinations, women’s health and long-term conditions management.

A number of MPs have also since posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) to affirm their support for community pharmacy.

We will be following up with all the MPs who attended to encourage their continued support for the sector. This will be particularly important through this challenging winter period.

Community Pharmacy England Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“Community pharmacies play an active role to support their patients throughout the winter period, but the sector needs fair and proper funding to enable its vital services to be delivered in the long term. This event came at a key moment for the sector as we work towards implementing the Pharmacy First service and negotiations begin for the 2024/25 Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF).

In this environment, we were particularly keen to reiterate to MPs the enormous pressures that community pharmacies are currently under and the crippling effect that this is continuing to have on pharmacy businesses of all shapes and sizes.”

Support the call for more funding by recording information about the informal advice you provide to patients over just one day.

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