Minister comments on additional funding plea for pharmacy

In a statement to the House of Lords on Tuesday, Lord Markham, a Health Minister, talked about a ‘plan of using [pharmacies] more for patients [that] will put more funding their way’. He also went on to praise the sector saying they are a ‘crucial part of the front line’.

This was in response to a question from Lord Grade, who is campaigning on behalf of the community pharmacy sector and is in contact with PSNC. Lord Grade warned Government that it must take action before pharmacies start to close.

The exchange comes alongside the ongoing campaign by the Daily Mail to save pharmacies, and after the Prime Minister’s GP Access Summit at the weekend at which PSNC Members contributed ideas and the sector’s needs for the future.

It also follows on from comments made by the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay MP, on Monday. He said: “There are many more things that community pharmacists can support with that can ease pressure on General Practice. The Primary Care recovery plan will set out a range of additional services that Community Pharmacy can deliver.”

PSNC is continuing to work to brief Ministers, MPs and the Opposition and in recent weeks we have seen a number of MPs and Peers speaking out in support of community pharmacy. In the coming weeks we will launch the Pharmacy Pressures Survey which will give all contractors and their teams the chance to feed in vital data to support our influencing work and case to Government.

PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison OBE said:

“It is no surprise to hear Government’s vote of confidence in pharmacy this week – pharmacies have proved time and again how much they can do to help patients and support the wider health service.

Lord Markham appears to promise additional funding linked to services and this is absolutely critical, along with other help. At the moment, more patient interactions does not mean more money for pharmacies and that needs correcting urgently.

In order for pharmacy to do more, Government must help us to tackle some fundamental problems: workforce, capacity, and our inadequate core funding levels. We’ve been saying this to officials,  Ministers, and even the Prime Minister this week, and we look forward to constructive formal negotiations as soon as they are ready.”

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