Community Pharmacy England calls for greater support for the sector
Community Pharmacy England has today written to both the Health Secretary, Victoria Atkins MP and the Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting MP, to call for urgent consideration about how the sector is supported and to improve pharmacy representation on Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).
These letters follow on from two roundtable discussions we held, at both the Conservative and Labour conferences, held in the autumn. The focus of these events was on the difficult challenges facing the community pharmacy sector, and what needs to be done to solve them. The discussion also covered the current funding crisis, the planned introduction of a Pharmacy First service, workforce issues and the importance of local commissioning to provide the best service for patients.
The letters signed by various attendees, also called on political leaders to work with the sector, patient bodies and charities to realise the potential of community pharmacies and deliver on the Vision, developed by two independent think tanks, The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust.
The signatories also called for a discussion on how community pharmacy can be sustainably funded including by reforming the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) to prevent dispensing at a loss.
Janet Morrison OBE, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy England said:
“We are very grateful for the support of all signatories in these letters to national health leaders. The long-term viability of community pharmacies is not a party-political issue. The message to all health leaders remains clear: if you do not provide pharmacies with the support they urgently need, the impact on pharmacy businesses will be catastrophic, and vital services to patients will become ever more chaotic, with medicines supply potentially critically at risk.