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General Elections 2024: CCA welcomes Labour Party’s manifesto focus on community pharmacy


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CCA praises Labour’s focus on prevention and calls for appropriate funding to support community pharmacies

The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has responded positively to the Labour Party’s manifesto, which outlines plans to bolster community pharmacy services and shift the NHS towards a more localized, prevention-focused model.

Key proposals include the creation of a Community Pharmacist Prescribing Service and the enhancement of care delivery in local communities.

Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA, expressed strong support for these initiatives and said:

“We welcome the Labour Party Manifesto’s clear focus on moving to a ‘Neighbourhood Health Service’, prevention, and the return of the ‘family doctor’.”

“Harnessing community pharmacy is crucial to delivering each of these,” Harrison added.

He noted the alignment between Labour’s proposals and the CCA’s vision for the sector’s future.

“We’ve made no secret that while the Pharmacy First service in England is already delivering for patients, it has the potential to do so much more.

He continued, “As such, we welcome further detail on the proposal to create a ‘Community Pharmacist Prescribing Service’.

“Given the current financial pressures facing the sector, it goes without saying that any new service must be funded appropriately.”

Harrison emphasised the significance of independent prescribing rights for pharmacists, calling it a “generational opportunity for change.”

He stressed the need for a robust roadmap to upskill pharmacists and ambitious NHS commissioning to ensure the public can benefit from these new prescribing skills.

The CCA Chief Executive also underscored the urgent need to address the sector’s historic underfunding.

“Whoever wins the next election must confront, head-on, the historic underfunding of the sector.

“A 30 per cent real-terms cut in core funding since 2015 has led to the closure of nearly 1,200 pharmacies,” he pointed out.

Harrison highlighted the potential of the NHS Pharmacy First service but warned that it could only continue to deliver if the next Government ends the “austerity of pharmacy funding.”

The Labour manifesto promises a shift towards a ‘Neighbourhood Health Service‘, integrating various health services and focusing on early intervention and prevention.

By granting more pharmacists independent prescribing rights and moving more care into local communities, Labour aims to reduce pressure on GP surgeries and enhance patient access to services.


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