Save our Pharmacies campaign gains momentum

Pharmacy leaders are set to brief MPs on the severe challenges facing community pharmacies this week as part of a wave of #SaveOurPharmacies campaign activities.

Tomorrow’s (Tuesday 21st March) roundtable summit will include discussions on the urgent action needed to address the current severe challenges being faced by community pharmacy, as well as the sector’s role in the upcoming Primary Care Recovery Plan.

Also this week, pharmacies are being encouraged to take part in the campaign and to look out for posters being delivered to them. Click here for a sneak preview of the poster.

The Parliamentary event this week has been coordinated by PSNC as part of the joint #SaveOurPharmacies campaign.

Representatives from the national community pharmacy bodies have supported and will take part in the event, including from the Association of Independent Pharmacies (AIM), the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA), the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and PSNC.

At the event, MPs will hear about the issues impacting pharmacies and have a chance to speak to sector representatives about the delivery of vital services on the frontline and the potential for a fully funded Pharmacy First service.

Campaign: update and poster delivery

The public #SaveOurPharmacies petition exceeded 30,000 signatories on Friday. This is a good start, but we need to continue to build the numbers to show the strength of support for our cause.

Please make use of the resources on the campaign website to help promote the petition and wider campaign. Also, don’t forget that anyone can sign the petition, so we encourage contractors, pharmacy staff, friends and family to add their name, as well as patients.

All resources – such as posters, flyers, social media graphics, digital display graphics, MP briefings and key messaging – can be found on the campaign website: https://saveourpharmacies.co.uk/  Further new resources will be added as the campaign progresses.

The campaign has already generated some national media coverage, featuring in the Express and the Daily Mail last week, but we are working to achieve more.

A spokesperson for the #SaveOurPharmacies campaign group said:

“30,000 signatures in a week indicates a high level of underlying public support for community pharmacy and it’s a good start to the #SaveOurPharmacies campaign. A petition by itself won’t change the world, but it works as a kind of drumbeat for the campaign, giving forward momentum, and it’s a really easy way to express your opinion.

We hope the new window poster – along with all the resources available at saveourpharmacies.co.uk – will help as many pharmacies as possible to drum up support from their patients, and we’re really grateful to Communications International Group for helping us to print and distribute this.

Alongside building public support, it’s important that MPs understand both the pressures facing community pharmacies and the potential that the sector has if current pressures are alleviated. During the Parliamentary event this week we hope to get across the disastrous financial situation facing the community pharmacy sector, as well as the effect it is having on the public’s access to pharmacies and the provision of services. The sector urgently needs both immediate and longer-term investment.

We will also talk to MPs about how to reverse the worrying trend of pharmacy closures and look ahead to the imminent Primary Care Recovery Plan. It is critical that we keep talking about the role that community pharmacies should play in the recovery plan and we look forward to outlining what a fully funded Pharmacy First service would look like and what benefits it would deliver for patients, public and the NHS.”

Help us raise awareness about the challenges the community pharmacy sector is facing by inviting your MP to attend our winter pressures event.

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