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NPA, RPS appointed as core participant to UK Covid-19 public inquiry

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The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has been appointed as a core participant in the Covid-19 public inquiry.

The independent public inquiry has been set up to examine the UK’s response to and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and learn lessons to shape preparations for future pandemics. It is chaired by Baroness Heather Hallett, a former Court of Appeal judge.

The NPA and RPS will be part of Module 3, which covers the impact of Covid-19 on healthcare systems across the United Kingdom. The preliminary hearing for that module takes place on Tuesday 28 February.

This will give the association an opportunity to make opening and closing statements, consider evidence provided to the Inquiry and propose questions to be asked by the Inquiry of witnesses.

NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette, said: “This is an historic opportunity to place on record the achievements of community pharmacy during the pandemic and to ensure that the inquiry’s recommendations are based in the practical realities faced by health workers such as our members.

“It is very important that the community pharmacy story is told and that lessons are learned. We hope this process will result in recognition of the broad role that community pharmacy plays in health care and action that will better equip the health service to be resilient against, and responsive to, future public health crises.

“As well as handling a massive increase in demand for advice and medicines during the pandemic, our members continued to provide urgent care, help for minor illnesses and supported people with long-term medical conditions, and supported victims of domestic abuse. They kept vulnerable people supplied with medicines and played a key part in Covid testing and the vaccination programme.”

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