MPs demand more support for pharmacies from Minister

MPs from across the political spectrum have called on the Health Secretary, Victoria Atkins MP to address the acute funding crisis facing the community pharmacy sector. 

Whilst taking the opportunity to welcome the introduction of the Pharmacy First service, a letter co-signed by 13 MPs makes clear that pharmacies cannot relieve further pressure on other parts of the health service unless they receive appropriate investment and support. 

Last month, Community Pharmacy England hosted a Parliamentary drop-in event on the Pharmacy First service. The event was well attended and was primarily an opportunity to showcase the value of the new service, but also helped to underline the critical financial and operational pressures facing community pharmacies to Parliamentarians and their teams. 

A collective of MPs from different parties have since signed up to a joint cross-party letter – coordinated by Community Pharmacy England – calling for her urgent consideration of: 

  1. A commitment on behalf of the Government to working with the pharmacy sector to create an economically sustainable core funding model that protects community pharmacies and gives the sector confidence for the future. 
  2. Develop the Pharmacy First service to enable patients to have walk-in consultations for more common minor conditions, providing accessible care and easing pressure on general practice. 
  3. Extend other clinical services that pharmacies can provide such as vaccinations, women’s health services, support for healthy lifestyles and long-term conditions management.

Read the full letter here

We have also supported some MPs to write to the Health Secretary privately, and others have been visiting community pharmacies in their constituencies following the event. Our thanks go to all LPCs and pharmacy owners who have supported this follow-up work.  

Our Chief Executive Janet Morrison said: 

“The Pharmacy First service shows once again just how much pharmacies can achieve and how much they can support patients and the wider NHS: 98% of pharmacies now offer the service meaning patients have improved access their health care across the country.  

We are extremely grateful to all MPs who, time and time again, demonstrate their ongoing and lasting support for community pharmacies. The signatories of this letter, as well as the many other MPs who attended the event, know that the financial pressures facing pharmacies are extreme and show no sign of improving. It is imperative that we continue to make the case to Government Ministers that the sector is far from thriving and is in fact close to damage and change beyond all recognition.” 

Capture healthcare advisory work not being covered by Pharmacy First to inform our negotiations with Government and NHS.

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