New pharmacy minister appointed

Dame Andrea Leadsom MP has been appointed as the new minister with responsibility for pharmacy in the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC). She takes over the position of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Patient Safety and Primary Care from Neil O’Brien MP, who resigned from the position on Monday.

Dame Andrea will have a wide-ranging portfolio including responsibility for primary care, community health, public health and maternity care.

Dame Andrea, first elected as MP for South Northamptonshire in 2010, is an experienced Cabinet Minister, serving as Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (July 2016 – June 2017), Leader of the House of Commons (June 2017 – May 2019), and most recently as Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy England said:

“We welcome the new Minister to her role, and we look forward to meeting with her at the earliest opportunity. Having previously noted the incredible value of community pharmacies, we look forward to building on her support to work towards a sustainable future for the sector, discussing the way forward and implementation of the Vision for Community Pharmacy.

We will work quickly to ensure that Dame Andrea is fully briefed on the ongoing immense pressures facing community pharmacy teams, as well as their potential to play a greater role in the nation’s biggest healthcare challenges, given the right funding and capacity.

We are delighted that one of the first things to cross her desk from a pharmacy perspective is likely to be the significant new investment in Pharmacy First that we hope will make a major difference to patients with minor conditions, recognising the incredible role pharmacies play in providing accessible health advice and support.”