RPS England Chair Thorrun Govind and Director for England James Davies joined pharmacists and pharmacy organisations in Parliament today for the launch of a new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pharmacy.
MPs and Peers heard about the APPG’s “Future of Pharmacy” report, which highlights how pharmacy teams can support the NHS recovery and warns of the need to address funding and workforce pressures.
The report makes a number of recommendations based on evidence from pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, GPs, patients and stakeholders, including:
- The Government must take urgent action to relieve the funding pressures on the community pharmacy sector in the short term and review the long-term funding model for pharmacy.
- The Government must harness the power of pharmacy to help the NHS deal with the COVID-19 backlog and the UK’s growing healthcare challenges.
- Future commissioning and funding must recognise that community pharmacy is the front door to the NHS for many patients.
- The DHSC and NHS England must urgently re-evaluate the current and long-term workforce needs of the entire health and social care system, including pharmacy.
- The Government should build on current commitments to provide funded training to ensure all existing pharmacists can train as independent prescribers, if they so choose.
- For this ambitious new vision to be realised, community pharmacy must be placed at the heart of decision-making and policy development.
Thorrun Govind, Chair of RPS England, said:
“It was fantastic to see the cross-party support for pharmacy teams in Parliament today.
“Pharmacists and pharmacy teams will play a crucial role in supporting the NHS recovery, reducing health inequalities, managing the growing cost of long-term conditions, and delivering best value from medicines.
“Today’s Pharmacy APPG report rightly highlights the need to support a more ambitious approach to advancing the clinical role of pharmacists across the NHS to enhance patient care, including through the growing number of pharmacist independent prescribers.
“With continued pressure on the health service, it is vital that the pharmacy workforce is supported to keep looking after patients.”
Taiwo Owatemi MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pharmacy, said:
“There is a tremendous opportunity for ministers to empower local pharmacies to help even more patients and use their skills to support efforts to clear NHS backlogs.
"But right now pharmacies are being squeezed by a combination of funding and workforce pressures.
“People are often shocked to learn how many local pharmacies are lost each year due to financial pressure.
"If ever there was a time to properly fund and support our pharmacies it is now.”