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PM announces UK general election: Pharmacy bodies urge political parties to address sector challenges

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CPE encourages pharmacy owners to contact their local Prospective Parliamentary Candidates seeking their support for community pharmacy

As Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announces the forthcoming UK general election, pharmacy bodies are calling on all political parties to commit to solving the issues facing the sector.

The next UK general election will be held on 4 July, Sunak announced it on Wednesday afternoon during a press conference outside 10 Downing Street.

“As the election is called it’s imperative that any incoming government addresses the crisis in primary care and the looming cliff edge facing pharmacies, which for millions of people are the front door to the NHS and a crucial source of frontline health care,” said Paul Rees, Chief Executive of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

Noting that the first responsibility of the government is to keep its people safe and healthy, he emphasised the importance of addressing the “deep funding gap that is pushing record numbers of pharmacies to the edge of closure and beyond, exacerbating the issues of waiting lists for GPs and hospital care.”

“You can be sure that we will be pressing all parties hard to commit to solving issues like pharmacy closures and medicine shortages which are affecting millions in communities across the country who just want access to local health support,” Paul added.

Janet Morrison, CEO of Community Pharmacy England (CPE), stated that they had been preparing for the news of a UK General Election for many months, briefing and building support for community pharmacy across all political parties.

She noted that this work remained urgent and critical, as community pharmacies are in “deep distress.”

She added that they will continue to raise this issue and caution about the risks of failing to support pharmacies across the political spectrum.

Additionally, she underscored the importance of recognising the value that community pharmacy can provide if it has the “right investment and support.”

“The election period will be an important time for building supporters in readiness for the new Parliament,” Janet said, adding that they would be discussing with LPCs about how they could collaborate on this during their National Meeting today.

“To support our national engagement, we will be encouraging all LPCs and pharmacy owners to contact their local Prospective Parliamentary Candidates seeking their support for community pharmacy – resources and guidance to help with this are already available,” she added.

Janet also mentioned that they would discuss the impact of the ongoing 2024/25 pharmacy funding negotiations with the Department of Health and Social Care.

“The prospect of more delays is deeply concerning for pharmacy owners who urgently need good news: accelerating this negotiation, whether in the coming weeks or with the new Government, remains our focus,” she said.

 

 

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