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Pharmacy bodies launch joint election manifesto, urge candidates to back a six-point plan


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Pharmacy owners and LPCs are encouraged to actively engage with candidates, ensuring that the voice of community pharmacy is heard ahead of the election.   

Community Pharmacy England (CPE), the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA), the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) on Tuesday (5 March) released a joint manifesto for community pharmacy in anticipation of the upcoming general election expected later this year.

The manifesto has been designed for widespread use within the community pharmacy sector to facilitate engagement with political parties and parliamentary candidates.

In their #VotePharmacy manifesto, the pharmacy bodies have highlighted a robust six-point plan to unleash the potential of pharmacy.

Election candidates are urged to express their support in six key areas, which include:

  1. Filling the funding gap and committing to long-term sustainable funding to empower pharmacies to deliver more NHS care.
  2. Enhancing the community pharmacy workforce to ensure they can meet the evolving needs of patients.
  3. Conducting a comprehensive review of the medicines supply chain to ensure that patients can readily access the medications they require.
  4. Implementing an enhanced Pharmacy First service for England, based on the successful models in Scotland and Wales.
  5. Establishing an ambitious roadmap for independent prescribing to empower community pharmacists to do more.
  6. Making pharmacies focal points for public health, prevention and reducing health inequalities.

“The general election campaigning period is always an important moment to highlight community pharmacies – both their value and the critical situation they now find themselves in – and to start to build Parliamentary supporters for the future,” said CPE chief executive, Janet Morrison.

She expressed that the manifesto strongly aligns with the ongoing demand for investment and support that CPE is actively pursuing, and it will help in advancing their efforts in that direction.

She urged all pharmacy owners, local pharmaceutical committees (LPCs), and other pharmacy owner representatives to support the manifesto and help “make community pharmacy’s voice heard ahead of the election.”

CCA chief executive, Malcolm Harrison, highlighted that years of underfunding have resulted in the loss of more than 1,000 pharmacies.

Although he acknowledged the launch of Pharmacy First as “a positive first step towards changing the future for pharmacy, he expressed concern that without additional investment in the core funding for medicines supply, the trend of closures might continue.

“Additional funding will help to protect patients’ access to medicines and NHS care, such as Pharmacy First.  Moreover, we want to see Pharmacy First enhanced and expanded at pace – doing so makes sense for patients, pharmacies and the NHS,” Harrison added.

Paul Rees, the chief executive of the NPA, emphasised the critical need for the next government, regardless of which party forms it, to recognise that community pharmacy is facing its “biggest crisis in living memory.”

He highlighted the alarming statistics of eight pharmacies closing weekly, and a total of 1,000 closed over the past decade.

Furthermore, he underscored the urgent need for a new deal for pharmacy, which must include a massive injection of funding and an end to community pharmacy being treated as a “second-class citizen” within the NHS, among other things.

Community pharmacy is viewed as “a way to squeeze out cost” instead of as a valued clinical service, he said.

“This joint manifesto spells out the many challenges requiring an urgent political response, to maximise our sector’s contribution to NHS patient care,” Rees added.

Tase Oputu, chair of the RPS England, reiterated the crucial role community pharmacy plays in caring for millions of patients each year, from boosting vaccine uptake to tackling health inequalities and ensuring vital access to medicines.

Nevertheless, she remarked that the system is currently under pressure, and it is imperative to secure sustainable funding and support for the workforce.

“As more pharmacists become prescribers, it is vital the next government makes the most of this opportunity to transform patient care and ensure a positive future for community pharmacy at the heart of the nation’s health service,” she said.

Pharmacy teams are encouraged to actively engage with candidates, utilising this manifesto and accompanying resources as well as practical advice available through the online general election hub (





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