Professor Claire Anderson, president, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Professor Claire Anderson, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, says pharmacists who have trained as prescribers will need the right support from the NHS to provide patients with the right services.

She wrote in her ‘Letter to the Editor’ of The Times that despite being qualified, some of them are “unable to provide care that is free to patients because the NHS does not yet fund the service in their area.”

The letter was published on the day health secretary Sajid Javid pledged support for utilising all the skills of the pharmacy workforce.

Prof. Anderson wrote: “It is great to see that the health secretary wants to harness the skills of pharmacist prescribers to help to transform patient care and ease pressures on GPs.

“About 20 per cent of pharmacists have already trained as prescribers but frustratingly some are unable to provide care that is free to patients, even though they are qualified, because the NHS does not yet fund the service in their area.”

She urged the government to give pharmacists equal access across the country to appropriate information, systems and resources to prescribe safely in all settings.

“Sajid Javid has a huge opportunity to improve access to medicines by providing patients with the right services, and pharmacists with the right support, to facilitate effective NHS prescribing in the community, Anderson said.

“There is everything to gain in terms of easing pressures on the NHS and helping patients to see the right health professional for their needs.”

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