RPS President Sandra Gidley has written to Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health Jo Churchill MP, highlighting how Government action on our key policy asks would make a real difference to pharmacists supporting patients in the coming months.
This follows an open letter from the minister, recognising the outstanding response of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and their teams during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sandra Gidley said:
“We know you are going above and beyond to help patients every day. We’re in regular discussions with government and the NHS across GB and will continue working with them and partners to help you get the support you need.”
Key asks in the letter are:
Protecting pharmacy teams
There are still difficulties for many in accessing the PPE they need, so we want to ensure pharmacy teams can readily order PPE through the electronic portal, so they can focus on patient care. Our call for COVID-19 tests for pharmacy teams has been met. They now need to be able to access them
Health and wellbeing support
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for parity of support for all health workers wherever they may be. This should extend to greater occupational health support for all pharmacists, in line with that provided for GPs and dentists.
To help manage potential medicine shortages, pharmacists across GB should be empowered to make simple substitutions without the patient going back to the prescriber. This would save patients time and reduce GP workload.
The collection of prescription charges, during a time of added pressure, is an unnecessary bureaucratic burden on pharmacy teams. Suspending prescription charges would reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19 and support people struggling to cope with reduced incomes.
Fair funding for community pharmacy
The advance payment to support cash flow for community pharmacies is a short term-term patch and must be backed up with longer-term funding.
Read more detail on the letter here.
Find out more about what we're calling for to support pharmacy teams.