Pharmacy Minister pledges to make best use of sector

Pharmacy Minister pledges to make best use of sector

September 7, 2017

Best use has not so far been made of the “tremendous skills and knowledge that pharmacists and pharmacy teams have”, pharmacy minister Steve Brine MP has said.

During his first speech to the sector this week, Mr Brine told the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Annual Conference that he and his colleagues were “determined to correct this”.

The Minister went on to praise the work of Healthy Living Pharmacies (HLPs) and the success of last year’s Community Pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service, noting the role that pharmacies are playing in keeping people healthy and reducing health inequalities.

Mr Brine also confirmed his commitment to seeing legislation on dispensing errors in community pharmacy laid, and he said that the Murray Review’s recommendations would help shape the Government’s efforts to optimise the skills of pharmacists and pharmacy teams.

The Minister has also this week set out his intention to work with PSNC to achieve fair, realistic and sustainable funding arrangements (in response to a letter from the editor of Chemist+Druggist).

PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe said: 

“We are very encouraged by this indication from the Minister of a more positive approach to community pharmacy than we have seen in recent years. The network of community pharmacies is highly valued by all those who use it; but there is a great deal more that can be done, particularly to build team working with our colleagues in general practice and to help relieve some of the pressures they are facing.

Community pharmacy needs certainty for the future and sustainable funding levels, and we are pleased to note that the minister has acknowledged this. Funding models must value the services that pharmacies provide in their local communities and protect provision in areas of greatest need. I look forward to working with the Minister and Department of Health officials to achieve this and to repair the damage of the past two years so that we can ensure that the skills of community pharmacists and their teams are properly utilised to support the NHS and patients. Whilst it is of course disappointing that two years progress has been lost, we must all now focus on the future.”

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