Preet Kaur Gill, Shadow Minister for Primary Care and Public Health, has paid a recent visit to a community pharmacy in Staffordshire to personally experience the services it provides to patients, while staying updated on the latest sector developments.
Her visit to Eason’s Pharmacy in Tamworth on September 22nd marked her first since assuming new responsibilities for pharmacy policy matters within Labour’s health team. Gill was also joined by a member of the National Pharmacy Association staff.
The Minister received a comprehensive briefing on Eason’s Pharmacy from its third-generation owner, Kieran Eason (R). He outlined the NHS services, which include the New Medicines Service and blood pressure monitoring, and showcased two consultation rooms and an operational dispensary.
“It’s great that Preet came to learn firsthand about the challenges we face and the substantial potential of community pharmacies nationwide,” Eason said. “As an independent prescriber, I have the expertise to provide even more convenient care, but the current funding levels severely limit our contribution.”
The Minister also commended the crucial role that pharmacies play within communities.
“It’s brilliant to be here with the National Pharmacy Association at Eason’s Pharmacy…,” she said in a recorded video message during the visit. “I want to see [community] pharmacy integrated into the primary care system, leveraging the expertise and capability of pharmacists to utilise their licenses fully and make substantial contributions to communities, as they are deeply connected to the heart of their communities.”
This was not the initial meeting between a Labour MP and the NPA in a community pharmacy. In January, NPA Chief Executive Mark Lyonette and Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting MP had discussions at Jaysons Pharmacy in Long Eaton, Derbyshire.
Meanwhile, on Sept. 14, Former Pharmacy Minister and Health Committee Chair, Steve Brine, highlighted supply chain instability’s impact on pharmacy profits in a parliament debate. The debate also delved into crucial topics such as financial pressures, workforce crisis, and pharmacy closures, all with the aim of devising practical solutions for a sustainable future in the sector.