Commenting on the Government’s investment of £645 million into community pharmacies in England, Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England Thorrun Govind said:
“We're pleased to see significant investment in this scheme for England, which is already successful in Scotland and Wales.
“Crucial to the success of Pharmacy First will be how it is implemented on the ground. The funding must flow to the frontline who need to be supported to give patients the quality service they deserve.
“The plans announced today are a real game-changer for patients as they will provide better access to healthcare, helping to reduce the strain on other parts of the NHS and provide patients with the care they need, when they need it. They provide further endorsement of the crucial role that pharmacies play in helping the public at the heart of primary care.
“We welcome the government’s plans that provide additional investment into the sector and that seek to ensure everyone across the country has equal access to care from highly skilled pharmacists and their teams. These plans will help to reduce health inequalities, especially in deprived areas where pharmacies are at the heart of their communities and trusted by patients.
“Our Vision for Pharmacy Practice in England, developed with The King’s Fund, showed how the accessibility of community pharmacy will be key consideration in the future of patient care. It also highlighted the importance of a core consistent service across the country, so that the public can understand what care they can access no matter where they live.
“Providing treatment to help prevent common conditions from becoming worse and requiring more complex treatment later on is better for patients and also cost-effective. Patients can expect to receive trusted advice from pharmacists in their local pharmacy.
“Over 14,000 pharmacists, trainees and undergraduates have been upskilled through the RPS Community Pharmacy Consultation Service training on exactly the kind of conditions that Pharmacy First will cover.
“We look forward to working with NHS England, community pharmacies and other pharmacy organisations on the development and roll out of this plan.”
Watch Thorrun advocating for the profession on ITV News, BBC Breakfast and ITV's This Morning: