RPS England Board Chair Thorrun Govind has responded to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, made today, March 23.
Thorrun commented: “With the rise in National Insurance next month, patients will now be looking for the Chancellor to ensure the extra money makes a difference where it is needed most.
“This means looking beyond headline figures on capital spending towards a radical rethink on the Government’s approach to prevention, personalised care and helping people stay healthy.
“The Health Secretary’s speech on NHS reforms earlier this month set out some laudable ambitions, but this needs to translate to action.
“We know there are solutions to increasing patient access to care, such as the ‘Pharmacy First’ scheme in Scotland and the use of Independent Prescribers in Wales, if there is the political will to make it happen for people in England.
“Pharmacists will play a key role in unlocking the potential of personalised care and personalised medicines as well as supporting the growing numbers of people living with long-term conditions.
“Medicines account for billions in spending each year and pharmacists are crucial in delivering the best value for patients and taxpayers, so we need to see more than piecemeal investment in the pharmacy workforce.
“Pharmacy education reforms will only be a success if they are backed by increased funding for experiential learning in pharmacy schools, alongside investment to support professional development.
“Amid the cost of living crisis and people already struggling to pay for food and electricity, with further increases to come with inflation, it is extraordinary that the Government is considering forcing the over 60s to start paying prescription charges, while prescriptions are free for everyone in Wales and Scotland.
“It is high time prescription charges are abolished in England altogether. Patients should not be taxed for being unwell.”
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