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Pharmacy bodies to submit written evidence to Health Select Committee’s new inquiry

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The pharmacy bodies have welcomed Health Select Committee’s inquiry into pharmacy services and are calling the community pharmacies to engage fully.

On Thursday (8 June), MPs launched a new inquiry to examine the ‘readiness of pharmacy services’. At the end of the inquiry, the committee will be making recommendations to the government on what action needs to be taken to ensure the potential of pharmacy is realised. It is currently seeking views and evidence from anyone who can answer any or some of the questions listed here by Thursday 6 July.

National Pharmacy Association (NPA), Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) and Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have confirmed that they will be submitting the written evidence.

RPS said it will be submitting written evidence, and if they are called to give oral evidence they’ll do so.

Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA commented: “We welcome the Health Committee’s much-awaited inquiry into pharmacy. Whilst the recent announcement of investment into the sector is welcome, this is new money for new activity. The historic underfunding of community pharmacy remains, and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) continue to directly recruit community pharmacists.

“We hope that this timely inquiry will outline the challenges facing the pharmacy sector and establish the support we need. The CCA looks forward to submitting written evidence to the inquiry”.

NPA’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Gareth Jones has described the Health Select Committee inquiry as ‘a significant opportunity for MPs to scrutinise the future of pharmacy’. He added, “This holds the current government to account as well as guide policy beyond the next general election.”

“It puts pharmacy in the political spotlight just at the moment fundamental questions are being asked about the sustainability of the NHS as a whole. Community pharmacy can help solve many of the long-term challenges faced by the health service and this must be the thrust of the inquiry in our view.

“Having had many discussions with the committee’s chair over the years, including his time as a Health Minister, we are confident he understands the sector’s potential, especially in the prevention sphere. The right questions seem to be in the scope of the inquiry, including key issues of capacity, workforce, commissioning and funding.

“The committee’s conclusions and recommendations will be taken seriously by government, so it is vital that the community pharmacy sector engages fully. The NPA will, of course, be providing evidence to the committee on behalf of independents.”

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