The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has launched a four point plan at its parliamentary drop-in event for MPs and peers hosted on Tuesday (15 November).
The event lasted for two hours, during which MPs had the opportunity to drop-in and have their blood pressure measured by pharmacists with experience of working on the front-line and were briefed on the urgent need for action to address the pressures on the sector.
Outline of the four-point plan:
- Resolve the funding squeeze: Community pharmacy needs an immediate funding uplift to prevent large-scale pharmacy closures, as well as emergency business relief to get through this winter.
- Tackle regulatory and other burdens: Pharmacies must be protected from medicines market shocks, supported to help them weather the workforce crisis, helped to free up capacity and freed from red tape that does not enhance patient care.
- Help pharmacies to expand their role in primary care: Pharmacies could do more to support the delivery of primary care for example through offering clinical services for long-term conditions – like hypertension, diabetes and respiratory disease, supporting people to adopt healthier lifestyles and prevent the development of long-term conditions, medicines optimisation, and a much wider variety of NHS vaccinations.
- Commission a Pharmacy First service: A fully funded pharmacy service that allows patients to have walk-in consultations for minor conditions would provide accessible care and ease pressure on general practice.
The event was well attended with 38 parliamentarians dropping in throughout the day.
“We plan to build on the momentum of the event by following-up with all MPs who attended and encouraging them to visit a local pharmacy to see for themselves the pressures that they are facing, as well as the potential the sector has to do even more to help the public and tackle the massive backlogs in care caused by the pandemic,” said PSNC.
After the event, one pharmacy supporter, Christian Wakeford MP said, ‘Community pharmacies have a much greater role to play in our healthcare system if properly funded, which is why I am supporting PSNC’s four-point action plan.’