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The outgoing pharmacy minister Jo Churchill’s statement in the Westminster Parliament last week dashed hopes of many pharmacists in England.

In response to a question on the government’s plans to provide bonus to pharmacists, Churchill said that the government “has provided a comprehensive package of support for community pharmacies during the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to the general support provided to all businesses. This has included the ability to claim for extra costs.”

The question, raised by Taiwo Owetami MP, a registered pharmacist-turned politician, drew comparison with the bonus payment provided to pharmacists by the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish governments.

Criticising the Churchill’s response, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) said the decision not only keeps England out of league with the other nations but also reflects a mindset which does not distinguish between “pharmacies” and “pharmacists”.

It noted that often decision-makers do not recognise the significant contribution pharmacists make to the health system.

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