MP wants more patients seen in pharmacies after EPiC visit

Peter Kyle, the MP for Hove and Portslade, wants more patients to be seen in pharmacies and other walk-in community settings rather than hospital emergency departments and GP surgeries. The newly-elected Labour MP, on a visit organised by the RPS Public Affairs team to Parris and Greening pharmacy in Hove on Friday, expressed his support for the sector after learning of pharmacy’s role in a major local project to expand the provision and accessability of primary care services.
Brighton and Hove's ‘EPiC’ (Extended Primary Integrated Care) project, in which GPs are directing some patients to pharmacists, nurse practitioners and 'community navigators', and patients are able to access treatment up to 8pm on weekdays as well as at weekends, is one of 20 winning bids to the Prime Minister's Challenge Fund, and involves community pharmacies as well as pharmacists working within GP surgeries in treating common ailments and reviewing use of medicines. Pharmacists in both settings also have access to patients' Summary Care Records.
Before the General Election in May, Mr Kyle spent time work-shadowing clinicians in his local hospital, and is keen for patients to be treated in the community whenever possible. After discussing EPiC with RPS members Ramiz Banham (local pharmacist), Vanessa Taylor (Steering Group member of Sussex Local Practice Forum) and Sue Oliver (who is participating both as a community pharmacist and by working in a local GP surgery), he said:
“As ever, Brighton and Hove is showing the rest of the nation how to do things, and I’m proud that we’re leading the way in developing new ways of providing healthcare which the nation could learn from. Our city is known for its innovative thinking, and I’m delighted that this local project has at its heart treating people in the community and at times convenient to them. Pharmacists and pharmacies are an under-used resource and have a major role to play, and I will be encouraging the NHS to make full use of them as they introduce new ways of working.”


He is the latest MP to meet a community pharmacy team in his constituency as part of a programme of visits arranged by RPS, and also learned about the national rollout of Summary Care Record access and the NHS flu vaccination service starting next month.

If you are an RPS member and would like our help to arrange for your local MP to visit your pharmacy, contact [email protected].