Commenting on the result of the general election, Sandra Gidley, chair of the English Pharmacy Board, said:
“While the general election result has left no political party with a majority, each of the main parties in England recognised the important role community pharmacists play in delivering healthcare in their manifestos.
“The start of a new Parliament now offers the Government an opportunity to reset and rebuild its relationship with community pharmacy and we look forward to working with it and the other pharmacy organisations to ensure it delivers on these commitments.
“The next government must now start to work with the RPS and community pharmacy sector to describe a positive future where the skills of pharmacists working in community are properly utilised.
“Pharmacists, wherever they work, support high quality patient care and help ensure the public get the best value from medicines. The RPS will not stop advocating for continued support of their increasingly important role. As we look ahead to the next Parliament, RPS will continue championing pharmacists in all settings as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team across the NHS.”
Britain has over 54,000 registered pharmacists, making them the third-largest health profession in the NHS, with a huge potential to deliver the best value from medicines, improve patient access to services, and reduce pressure on other parts of the health service.
Policymakers can make sure that both patients and the public benefit further from the pharmacist’s expertise in medicines by:
- Implementing the recommendations of the Murray Review of Community Pharmacy Clinical Services.
- Supporting an embedded role for pharmacists in care homes, with overall responsibility and accountability for medicines and their use.
- Incorporating pharmacists more fully into the delivery of urgent and emergency care to reduce A&E waiting times and improve patient care.
- Enabling all pharmacists directly involved in patient care to access and update a patient’s health record, with their consent.
- Calling for those leading local health reforms to engage with and consult the range of health professions, including pharmacists, to unlock the potential of collaborative working and integrated care.