The voice of pharmacy during the general election
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This is a crucial time for the NHS, with a focus on patient safety, recurring medicines shortages, advances in technology, and growing pressures on the workforce. 

Download our 2019 election manifesto

Amid continued uncertainty about Brexit and our future relationship with the EU, the next Government will face some key challenges to support patients and the NHS in 2020 and beyond.

Put patient safety at the heart of the NHS

  • Invest in pharmacy to maximise its contribution to person-centred care, public health and prevention, and medicines safety
  • Fund IT infrastructure to enable pharmacists to access and update patient records
  • Pass long-awaited legislation on inadvertent dispensing errors to foster an open, learning culture to improve patient safety.

Secure patient access to medicines

  • Scrap prescription charges in England, in keeping with Scotland and Wales, to create a fairer system for patients across Britain
  • Support pharmacists who are working hard every day to manage medicines shortages and help patients access appropriate treatment
  • Work with national bodies and international partners to ensure UK patients can receive the medicines they need in a complex, global market.

Support the workforce to deliver patient care

  • Agree fair funding for community pharmacy so patients get faster access to expert care and advice
  • Invest in education and training of pharmacists, as part of a comprehensive workforce strategy, to meet growing demand for their expertise
  • Expand health and wellbeing support to pharmacists and all health professionals delivering NHS services, so they can continue to provide safe and effective care.

Unlock the potential of new advances in medicines

  • Build on the UK’s position as a global leader in developing new medicines
  • Support advancements in personalised medicine to get better results for patients and improve safety
  • Develop the pharmacy workforce with the skills and capacity to make the most of new technologies such as pharmacogenomics.

Agree a future relationship with the EU

  • Agree a future relationship with the EU, including on medicines, to protect patients and the NHS and avoid additional bureaucracy
  • Maintain funding for the UK science and research community and support international collaboration
  • Ensure the UK remains an attractive place for the world’s best talent to live, work and study to support our healthcare services, universities and industry.

How can members help? How can members help?

The coming weeks will see general election candidates across the UK campaigning to win their constituents’ votes on Thursday 12 December.

But with only a few short weeks to go, and with a range of issues jostling for attention, we need your help to ensure that election candidates better understand and recognise the vital role that pharmacists play in supporting people’s health.

  • Find out who your local constituency candidates are, send them a copy of our general election toolkit and ask them to show their support for the profession
  • Ask candidates to voice their support for pharmacy on social media (e.g. Twitter/Facebook) using the hashtag #votepharmacy
  • Invite candidates to see where you work, take a photo, and show them first-hand how pharmacists make a real difference to their constituents’ health.

What is the general election toolkit? What is the general election toolkit?

Our four-page booklet aimed at general election candidates which includes:

  • A pledge to support pharmacy, which can also be printed for candidates to physically sign
  • An infographic on the value of pharmacists’ expertise
  • Key issues for the next Government
  • Tips on how candidates can show their support, as well as additional background information.

Download it from the RPS website or email the link to candidates directly.

Should you check with your employer? Should you check with your employer?

Yes. You should check with your employer if you are planning on contacting election candidates or inviting them to visit your workplace and this may be included in the conditions of your employment. 

Your employer or head office may also be able to offer further advice and support.

Should you let other pharmacists in the area know? Should you let other pharmacists in the area know?

Yes. If you are interested in arranging visits for candidates, let your RPS Local and Local Pharmaceutical Committee know as well.

How do you find your local election candidates? How do you find your local election candidates?

Many parties are still trying to select their candidates in some constituencies, but your local elections office, run by the local authority, will publish a list of all candidates standing for election in your area.

Websites such as www.whocanivotefor.co.uk can list your local candidates. If you want them to visit your pharmacy, you should enter that postcode rather than where you live.

More information is available from the Electoral Commission.

What can you email election candidates? What can you email election candidates?

Try to keep it short to help candidates and their team read it quickly. A sample email is below but you can adapt it to make it more personal:

Dear [candidate name],

I am a pharmacist at [place of work] in [location] and am contacting you and the other general election candidates to ask you to show your support for pharmacists in [constituency name] during the coming weeks.

I wanted to draw your attention to a new publication, “Pharmacy Matters” [HYPERLINK], which has more information about the pharmacy profession’s prescription for the nation’s health and the NHS.

If you wanted to visit me at work during the campaign to see first-hand how pharmacists make a real difference to constituents’ health, I would be happy to help arrange this. You can also show your support online using the hashtag #votepharmacy.

Yours sincerely,

Are there other resources? Are there other resources?

Yes. As well as the RPS website, a number of organisations have published general election materials on votepharmacy.wordpress.com/

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