MPs raise concerns about the future of pharmacies
PSNC has co-hosted a Future of Pharmacy event in Westminster to highlight the significant contribution of pharmacies to the health of the nation and their potential to do more to address ongoing healthcare challenges. This comes as a delegation of pharmacy representatives handed a letter into the Prime Minister warning of more possible closures if pharmacies are not given the necessary support and resources.
53 Parliamentarians attended the event, which took place on Tuesday 5th July in the Palace of Westminster, to hear directly from frontline pharmacists and representatives of pharmacy bodies about the potential for community pharmacies to help the NHS address current challenges such as healthcare backlogs and waiting lists in primary care. With more investment in the sector, pharmacists and their teams could be better utilised to ease pressure on GP surgeries, urgent care centres and A&E departments.
However, recent figures from PSNC, for example, show that 639 local pharmacies have been lost in England since 2016. Parliamentarians attending the event were warned about the threat of pharmacy closures and urged to push for support for the sector so as to prevent the loss of such a valuable healthcare resource at a time when it is needed the most.
Constituency specific data from PSNC on pharmacy closures, as well as the prevalence of disease, can be found here.
Following the event, a letter calling for support for pharmacies was handed into the Prime Minister by a delegation representing pharmacy teams. The letter had been signed by 24 supportive Parliamentarians. The text of the letter can be viewed here.
The event and letter were organised by the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, the Company Chemists’ Association, National Pharmacy Association, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
Janet Morrison OBE, Chief Executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), says:
“It’s fantastic to see this level of support for pharmacies from politicians on all sides of the House. They clearly know how much their constituents rely on pharmacy teams for healthcare advice, especially since the pandemic, and they value this. Many Parliamentarians are also rightly concerned about the unrelenting combination of financial and operational pressures that pharmacy teams are currently facing. The sector needs urgent investment and support to address these challenges, otherwise, patients and the public can expect to see an end to more of the pharmacy services that they have come to value and rely on. PSNC is continuing to press for more funding and support for the sector, and we have been pleased to work with the other pharmacy organisations to highlight this across Parliament and to the Prime Minister’’.