Director for England James Davies spoke to MPs in Parliament today at the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s inquiry on pharmacy.
Alongside the Primary Care Pharmacy Association, he highlighted the vital role of pharmacists and pharmacy teams in supporting patient care and medicines use across the health service.
The first part of the session focused on community pharmacy, hearing from the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, Company Chemists’ Association, and the National Pharmacy Association.
Key issues included:
- The growing role of pharmacist prescribers to support patient care.
- Workforce planning, including skill mix within teams and steps to support recruitment.
- Calling for pharmacy students to have access to the Learning Support Fund.
- The importance of pharmacy leadership within Integrated Care Systems.
- The need to invest in hospital pharmacy, including facilities for technical services.
- Challenges around medicines shortages and the impact on patients and pharmacy teams.
RPS Director for England James Davies said:
“This inquiry shows the huge range of areas where pharmacy has a crucial role, reducing health inequalities, managing the growing cost of long-term conditions, and delivering best value from medicines for patients and the NHS. Pharmacists play a key role in vaccinations, maintaining access to life-saving medicines, and supporting patient access to primary care.
“We have seen some welcome progress towards advancing the clinical role of pharmacists in the NHS, and this will further accelerate with a new generation of pharmacist prescribers.
“At the same time, pharmacy teams also continue to play a key role in technical services in hospitals and will be at the centre of developing new medicines and treatments, including unlocking the potential personalised medicines.
“Throughout our work with The King’s Fund last year, we consistently heard from health and care leaders how pharmacy has a fundamental part to play in the health service of the future.
“There are some key enablers to make this a success, including workforce planning, investment in pharmacy students through the learning support fund to ensure a pipeline of pharmacists for the future, making best use of skill mix within pharmacy teams, and much-needed investment in IT and interoperable patient records.”
Watch a clip of James Davies speaking in Parliament below.
James also talks about expanding the role of pharmacists beyond hospitals. He mentions the future integration of prescribing skills for all newly qualified pharmacists starting in 2026, making best use of the skill mix within the entire pharmacy team, and exploring opportunities in clinical trials and the life science sector. Watch below.
Watch the committee session.
Read our written evidence to the committee.
Read more about the committee’s inquiry.
Read more RPS news stories.