Commenting on the appointment of Rt Hon Steve Barclays MP as the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Chair of RPS in England Thorrun Govind said:
“This is a crucial time for the future of health and care – with continued pressures on teams, changes to NHS structures and organisations, and the need for long-term investment in the workforce.
“I hope the new Health Secretary will engage with pharmacy leaders about how we can make the most of our health and care workforce to support the NHS recovery, including reducing health inequalities, managing the growing cost of long-term conditions, and utilising the enhanced skills of Pharmacist Independent Prescribers.
“With a ‘refresh’ of the NHS Long-Term Plan and the Government’s workforce plan expected later this year, these must support a more ambitious approach to advancing the clinical role of pharmacists across the NHS to better meet changing patient demand, backed by investment in pharmacy education and training.
“Sajid Javid recognised the vital role of community pharmacy and the potential of a ‘Pharmacy First’ to support patient access to care. I would urge the new Health Secretary to see this through to completion.
“The success of the COVID-19 vaccination programme showed just how important it is to allow clinicians to update records wherever they may work. If we are to make the most of the whole of our health and care workforce, the Government and NHS must deliver the roll-out of read-write access to patient records across care settings.
“With new Integrated Care Systems and a new approach to primary care commissioning, how these reforms are implemented on the ground must minimise disruption on our health and care staff who are already under pressure.”