Primary Care Minister receives flu jab at community pharmacy

The recently appointed Pharmacy Minister, Maria Caulfield MP, received her NHS flu jab at the S.G. Barai Pharmacy in Sutton, Surrey earlier this week.

This year has seen record numbers of patients choosing to receive their flu vaccinations in pharmacies, with more than 3.5 million flu vaccinations administered in pharmacies so far – more than in any previous year.

The Minister was welcomed by pharmacy owner Reena Barai who was keen to talk to her about how her local community have been relying on the pharmacy through the pandemic. Reena also highlighted the operational challenges that pharmacies currently face, and explained the complexity of some of the walk-in healthcare consultations that she is now offering and the need for adequate funding for those.

Reena talked about the challenges of encouraging GPs to sign up to the Community Pharmacy Consultation service (CPCS) – something which the Health Secretary has recently encouraged GPs to refer more patients through. And she explained the benefits of the Discharge Medicine Service (DMS) and the need for further referrals to it.

Reena Barai, independent community pharmacist and PSNC Committee Member, said:

‘’It was my great pleasure to welcome the Minister to S.G. Barai pharmacy. She was very interested and engaged and saw for herself the brilliant work the team do daily. She also saw just how busy the pharmacy can be and really understood the future capacity challenges pharmacies like mine will experience.’’

Zoe Long, PSNC Director of Communications and Public Affairs, said:

“It is great to see the new Minister out and about visiting community pharmacies. This week she heard just how much local communities continue to rely on their pharmacies, and how this changed through the pandemic, as well as seeing some of the challenges that pharmacies face. We’re looking forward to continuing to discuss with Government how we can better support all community pharmacies and achieve their ambitions for the sector.”

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