The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) will launch a new influencing campaign to build wider political support for community pharmacies this week.
The campaign aims to ensure that MPs and Peers across Parliament understand the risks to pharmacy services that the current pressures on the sector are causing.
In a Parliamentary event held today (Tuesday 15 November) MPs and Peers heard from PSNC, LPC and other pharmacy bodies about the current situation.
PSNC briefed them on the urgent need for action to address the pressures on the sector.
The committee will be working with LPCs and contractors to organise a series of pharmacy visits for key Parliamentarians including Minsters, Committee and APPG Members.
This is happening alongside work to develop a new vision and strategy for the community pharmacy sector, all of which is part of PSNC’s strategy to lay the ground for future CPCF negotiations.
To help engage with Parliamentarians PSNC have developed a key messaging document which sets out a four-point action plan that it want Government to take immediately.
It will be looking for Parliamentary supporters to ask Government to:
- Resolve the funding squeeze: Community pharmacy needs an immediate funding uplift to prevent collapse, 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 with their 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.
Zoe Long, PSNC Director of Communications and Public Affairs, said: “Community pharmacies are facing immense, unsustainable operational and financial pressures which are impacting on businesses, staff, and patients. This is not acceptable, and we will be telling politicians across the political spectrum that something must be done about it. Our short-term action plan has been written to help us do that while work continues on the longer-term vision and strategic options for the sector.
The best way for MPs to understand what is going on in pharmacy is to see it for themselves and to talk to contractors directly, and this is why we’ll be looking to organise a series of pharmacy visits over the coming months to support the briefings we are giving across Westminster. We would be very grateful for any help that contractors and LPCs can give with this campaign.”