From L-R – NPA Chair Andrew Lane, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and community pharmacy contractor at Market Chemist Shiraz Mohamed.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has thanked the community pharmacy teams for their role during current Covid-19 pandemic.

During a visit to Market Chemist in London on Tuesday (June 16), Hancock extended his gratitude to all those working in community pharmacies for their ongoing efforts to support local communities through the pandemic.

Shiraz Mohamed, pharmacy contractor at Market Chemist, explained to the health secretary the measures taken by his team to support the community.

“As a community pharmacist, ensuring that my patients have the medicines they need as well as relevant advice is crucial, but I also want to be able to offer them a range of clinical services,” Mohamed said.

“In recent years I have invested in a bigger team, a multi-workstation dispensary, and a range of clinical services including making remote GP appointments available to patients from my pharmacy.

“It was an honour to show all of this to the secretary of state yesterday, and to explain to him the value of what we do and the need for us to fully integrated within the NHS.”

Commenting, Hancock noted that community pharmacies have kept people “safe and well” by combining traditional face-to-face services with technology and innovation.

“Pharmacists have been at the forefront of supporting people through this pandemic, and I want to express my gratitude to each and every one of them for supporting this country and their local community,” he added.

Andrew Lane, Chair of the National Pharmacy Association who attended the visit, apprised Hancock of the wider impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on community pharmacy.

“We discussed current challenges and the future, recognising that patients value their local pharmacies immensely,” Lane said.

“Our members are ambitious about their role in improving the health of the nation. This includes supporting efforts to test and trace for coronavirus and in due course to vaccinate people against the virus. The Health Secretary’s visit was also an opportunity to highlight how pharmacies are continuing to innovate and find new ways of working, and to underline the support we need from government.“

Simon Dukes, Chief Executive of PSNC, added: “We know that community pharmacies have been playing a critical role throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and it was great for a contractor and his pharmacy team to be able to showcase this to the secretary of state yesterday.

“Pharmacies have made considerable changes to the ways in which they operate and we are continuing to work with HM Government to ensure they are fully supported through this.”

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