MP raises pharmacy closures during Prime Minister’s Questions

In today’s session of Prime Minister’s questions, Sir George Howarth MP dedicated his question to the issue of pharmacy closures and the need for Government to do more to support the sector, including commissioning a fully funded Pharmacy First service.

Sir George is a strong supporter of community pharmacies and has attended several recent pharmacy-focussed parliamentary events.

In his question to the Prime Minister, Sir George quoted PSNC analysis that over 10 pharmacies, on average, close each month. He also suggested that community pharmacies could help with the ‘chronic lack of capacity in the NHS’. Sir George then called on the Prime Minister to take urgent action and ‘commission a properly funded pharmacy first service for minor illnesses’.

In his response, the Prime Minister said he is a ‘wholehearted champion and believer in the role that community pharmacies can play’. He added: “We want to make sure that they can do everything to ease some of the pressures in primary care… I know first-hand how respected they are in their communities.”

The full question and answer can be viewed here.

For further information of how a national pharmacy first service could work, please see our briefing here.

Ongoing national influencing work

PSNC is continuing to work hard both through our public political work and behind the scenes to ensure that Government and the NHS understand the pressures on pharmacy and act to resolve them.

We have been working for many months to influence the upcoming Primary Care Recovery Plan and more widely to improve the long-term outlook for pharmacies following our bid for a fully-funded Pharmacy First service and for a funding uplift in March 2022. We are continuing to encourage and work with MPs to write to the Health Secretary and to raise these issues via parliamentary questions such as today’s.

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