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MPs briefed about pharmacies’ unlocked potential in long-term condition prevention

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MPs expressed strong agreement with the CPE that the government needs to review pharmacy funding structures  

Community Pharmacy England (CPE) highlighted the untapped potential of community pharmacies in the prevention and management of long-term conditions to Conservative MPs during an event last week.

The roundtable discussion was attended by a select group of influential and supportive MPs alongside community pharmacy owners, the Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy England, the Director of NHS Services, and patient representative group Healthwatch.

MPs in attendance included Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay, who chaired the discussion; Will Quince MP, former Minister for Pharmacy, Derek Thomas MP, Sir Peter Bottomley and Peter Aldous MP.

They talked about the current pressures and funding crisis in community pharmacy, exploring solutions on how this could be eased and the huge benefits that can be unlocked.

CPE Committee members Beran Patel, an independent pharmacy owner, and Jay Patel, Executive Director of Day Lewis, gave their firsthand experiences and perspectives.

Healthwatch also presented its findings on how the public views pharmacies, suggesting that people want pharmacies to offer more services such as vaccinations.

The CPE informed the MPs that community pharmacies can help reduce the burden of long-term conditions if the “current pressures on the sector can be eased.”

CPE CEO Janet Morrison said: “It is critical that we continue to work with MPs to press for solutions to the ongoing intolerable pressures on community pharmacies, but also to show all political parties the very great benefits that pharmacies could offer any new Government if those pressures are addressed.

“This event was another useful way to do that, and it was encouraging to meet with a group of MPs who seemed to so clearly support community pharmacies.

“We’re grateful to Steve Double MP and his parliamentary colleagues for sharing their views and discussing with us what needs to happen to tackle the challenges the sector faces and will be continuing our dialogue with them.”

According to the CPE, the MPs expressed strong agreement with them that the government needs to review “pharmacy funding structures”, and they also demonstrated a keen understanding of the challenges facing frontline pharmacists and pharmacy businesses.

“They agreed that the sector must not be unfairly financially penalised – through fee reductions – for doing too much work,” the CPE said.

During an event last week, the CPE also briefed the Shadow Pharmacy Minister Preet Kaur Gill MP on the need for further investment in the sector.

In their next parliamentary event, scheduled on 12 March, CPE members will be hosting a ‘Model Pharmacy Drop-In’ in partnership with the other national pharmacy organisations.

Pharmacists will be available to demonstrate how they are further helping patients as part of the Pharmacy First service.

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