The Department of Health has said that it aims to announce a package of community pharmacy reforms by mid-October, to be implemented from December 1st.
Responding to this announcement Sandra Gidley RPS England Board Chair said:
“I welcomed the Government’s recent announcement at the RPS conference that Ministers wanted to “pause and reflect” on the proposed community pharmacy reforms. I am heartened that the recently published Community Pharmacy Forward View and PWC report on The value of pharmacy have had impact; the Department of Health have assured us that these reports will be taken into account during the final decision making period. However, I am concerned that the timetable announced today means the time for further discussion is short.
It is now time for the Minister to take action and match the reality with his warm words in response to the PWC report, and truly put pharmacists at the heart of primary care."
The RPS English Board is still of the belief that any cut to community pharmacy, and primary care generally, is short sighted if the Government is committed to its stated aim of investing in primary care and prevention of ill health. The profession needs reassurance that there are material changes to the original community pharmacy reform package. New proposals from Government must show that the work of pharmacists to improve patient care is valued and will be supported now, as well as in the future.