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Minister suggests ‘using pharmacies more for patient’ may increase funding in sector

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Lord Markham, a health minister suggested the House of Lords on Tuesday (10 January) that plan of ‘using pharmacies more for patient will put funding their way’, just like allocation of Covid vaccine provided support.

In a statement to the House of Lords he praised the sector saying they are a ‘crucial part of the front line’.

His statement was in response to a question from Lord Grade, who is campaigning on behalf of the community pharmacy sector. Lord Grade warned Government that it must take action before pharmacies start to close.

On Monday (9 January) the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay MP, commented: “There are many more things that community pharmacists can support with that can ease pressure on General Practice. The Primary Care recovery plan will set out a range of additional services that Community Pharmacy can deliver.”

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) is continuing to work to brief Ministers, MPs and the Opposition and in recent weeks, It said: “We have seen a number of MPs and Peers speaking out in support of community pharmacy. In the coming weeks we will launch the Pharmacy Pressures Survey which will give all contractors and their teams the chance to feed in vital data to support our influencing work and case to Government.”

PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison OBE said: “It is no surprise to hear Government’s vote of confidence in pharmacy this week – pharmacies have proved time and again how much they can do to help patients and support the wider health service.

“Lord Markham appears to promise additional funding linked to services and this is absolutely critical, along with other help. At the moment, more patient interactions does not mean more money for pharmacies and that needs correcting urgently.

In order for pharmacy to do more, Government must help us to tackle some fundamental problems: workforce, capacity, and our inadequate core funding levels. We’ve been saying this to officials,  Ministers, and even the Prime Minister this week, and we look forward to constructive formal negotiations as soon as they are ready.”

 

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