England

All-Party Pharmacy Group warns of pressures on pharmacies

The All-Party Pharmacy Group has praised the heroic efforts of pharmacy teams delivering frontline care to patients during COVID-19 and has warned of continued pressures facing community pharmacies.

A new inquiry report from the group of MPs and Peers, chaired by Jackie Doyle-Price MP, includes a survey of 1,600 pharmacy staff, with 95% of respondents saying their place of work was under financial pressure.

The report makes a number of recommendations, including calling for a review of funding as well as increased training and resources to “supercharge” the pharmacy workforce to support patient care.

RPS England Chair Claire Anderson said:

“Pharmacists across the health service have been incredible in supporting patients throughout COVID-19 and rightly deserve recognition for the work they do.

“We know that teams were already under pressure and that colleagues in community pharmacy are feeling added financial strain. It’s crucial we maintain a resilient community pharmacy network and this report shows just how important it is that pharmacists get the help they need.

“We continue to back calls for sustainable funding in community pharmacy and greater support for pharmacists’ wellbeing wherever they may work.

“We also need to look ahead to how the NHS can make the most of pharmacists’ clinical skills and build on the positive steps to commission new services. 

“Pharmacist have gone above and beyond during COVID-19 and the pandemic has highlighted how enabling clinical autonomy and professional responsibility is the right thing for patients.

“With appropriate support from policymakers, including in investment in training and education, pharmacists will be central to enhancing patient care and safety for the NHS.”

Read the APPG report here.

After extensive discussions with members, patient groups and others, in July the RPS set out our views on the future of pharmacy. Find out more about  lessons learnt during COVID-19.

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