The Company Chemist Association (CCA) highlighted its concerns around the recruitment of pharmacists into Primary Care Networks as well as the need for additional investment.
Commenting on the Ipsos survey findings, the Malcolm Harrison, the Chief executive of the CCA said: “We welcome the findings of the Ipsos survey, confirming that patients value the quality of service and advice community pharmacies routinely provide.
“We are very concerned however that this cancer detection pilot, and all other pharmacy services, are at risk if the NHS is not prepared to inject urgently needed funding into the sector.”
He stated that without substantial investment, “we will see the continued erosion of the service pharmacies can provide.”
In addition to the need for critical additional funding the association is also calling on the NHS to pause the recruitment of pharmacists into GP surgeries.
He said: “Patients are suffering because the demand for pharmacists in England is now significantly greater than that which the existing workforce can deliver.”
The association has urged the NHS to reconsider the scale of their ambition, with regard to the future of community pharmacy.
“400,000 patients were referred by NHS111 and GPs to their local pharmacy this year. On average that means one patient is referred to each pharmacy every two weeks. That is not a sustainable service. This level of referral is drastically below the number of patients the NHS says could be safely referred, which is 20 million.
“It is evident that patients are happy to use their local pharmacy to access the care and support they need in the community.
To be able to meet this demand community pharmacies need urgent support themselves.”