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Pharmacy bodies respond to Labour Party manifesto promises on community pharmacy


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Pharmacy leaders have urged funding boost for pharmacies in response to Labour’s ambitious healthcare plans

The Labour Party’s election manifesto, unveiled with a focus on bolstering community pharmacy services and enhancing localised healthcare, has sparked responses from key pharmacy bodies across England.

A standout pledge within the manifesto is the commitment to establish a Community Pharmacist Prescribing Service, aimed at granting more pharmacists independent prescribing rights.

This initiative is viewed as pivotal in recognising the clinical capabilities of pharmacists and their potential to alleviate pressures within primary care.

Additionally, Labour’s plan advocates for broader healthcare access improvements, including enabling opticians to directly refer patients to specialist services and expanding self-referral options where suitable.

The manifesto also introduces proposals to trial Neighbourhood Health Centres, designed to consolidate various healthcare services under one roof, such as family doctors, district nurses, and mental health specialists.

Janet Morrison, CEO of Community Pharmacy England, responded positively to Labour’s manifesto, highlighting the sector’s potential to enhance healthcare accessibility.

She emphasized the importance of a sustainable funding model to support pharmacies in delivering high-quality primary health services effectively.

“We welcome Labour’s commitment to a Community Pharmacist Prescribing Service,” stated Morrison.

“Expanding independent prescribing rights acknowledges pharmacists’ clinical expertise and their capacity to support primary care needs.”

Meanwhile, Paul Rees, Chief Executive of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), acknowledged Labour’s recognition of the transformative role pharmacies can play but raised concerns over financial pressures faced by many community pharmacies.

“Pharmacies are currently under immense financial strain, leading to closures and reduced services,” noted Rees.

“If Labour aims to expand pharmacy roles effectively, a real terms funding increase is essential to stabilise the network and enable pharmacies to enhance community healthcare access.”

The responses reflect a strong consensus within the pharmacy sector on the need for sustainable funding and expanded roles to fully leverage the potential of community pharmacies in enhancing healthcare delivery across England.


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