Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's English Pharmacy Board Sandra Gidley has been talking to the BBC about the cut to funding for community pharmacies which hit the media today.
Here's what she said in full:
“The RPS is extremely concerned about the announced funding cut for community pharmacy. It believes the proposed scale of the reduction in support for the service has the potential to adversely impact patient care. We also believe the cuts are short sighted, coming just as phenomenal pressures on other parts of the NHS mean that community pharmacists are now seen as an accessible source for advice, helping people stay well through treating them for many minor ailments and health conditions.
“When providing medicines for some patients, particularly those with long-term health conditions, pharmacists often need to talk to people to check things with them and answer any questions they may have about their medications. To ensure safety and effectiveness they also need to ensure patients understand exactly how their medicines should be taken.
“With ever growing pressures on GP surgeries and hospital A&E departments, an integrated community pharmacy network is key to ensuring people have access to the healthcare they need. People now regularly go to their community pharmacist for flu jabs, health checks and for preventative therapies such as weight management and stopping smoking. All this patient-focused clinical support goes a long way to ease the growing pressure on GP surgeries and hospital emergency departments.
“There is a very real concern within the profession that the Government is attempting to cut the cost of the community pharmacy service without considering the real value we provide to patients and the public. Government must consider the capacity that the community pharmacy network provides to relieve pressures on GPs and A&E.”