Ben Howlett, the new MP for Bath, visited a community pharmacy in the heart of the city's historic centre earlier this week. The visit on Tuesday to Lifestyle Pharmacy, which dispenses medicines and advice to patients from over 15 local GP surgeries, was arranged by the RPS Public Affairs team, which also attended.
A member of the Conservative backbench health committee, Mr Howlett was elected to Parliament in May, having previously worked in Bath's Royal University Hospital and Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases ('The Min') as well as in healthcare recruitment.
After pharmacist Nick Daines and his team described their services, Mr Howlett was enthusiastic about the NHS flu vaccination service starting later this year, welcomed pharmacy's anticipated read access to summary care records and supported the principle of full write access. He said it was clear that pharmacy is not being used as fully as it could be by the NHS at present, and pledged to join the All-Party Pharmacy Group at Westminster.
He also received a travel vaccination consultation before his summer holiday, and was particularly interested in the smoking cessation service, as the quit rate in Bath has declined and he is involved in work to address this.
Mr Howlett is the seventh MP since the General Election to meet a community pharmacy team in their constituency as part of a programme of pharmacy visits organised by RPS. If you are an RPS member and would like our help to arrange for your local MP to visit your pharmacy, contact [email protected].