Many of you have contacted me as part of the “Support Local Pharmacies” campaign. Due to the sheer volume of these campaign postcards I am unable to respond to each of you individually so I wanted to set out my on the issue as clearly as I can here on my website
Spending on health continues to grow, with a £10 billion real terms increase in NHS funding in England between 2014/15 and 2020/21. This will focus on lifesaving treatments and the Government expects to spend up to an extra £2 billion per year on the new drugs that patients need by the end of 2020.
In the Spending Review the Government re-affirmed the need for the NHS to deliver £22 billion in efficiency savings by 2020/21 as set out in the NHS’s own plan, the Five Year Forward View. Community pharmacy is a core part of NHS primary care. A clinically focussed pharmacy service that is better integrated with primary care and public health will help relieve the pressure on GPs and A&Es, ensure better use of medicines and better patient outcomes, and contribute to delivering seven-day services.
The Government wants to transform the system to deliver efficiency savings and ensure the model of community pharmacy reflects patient and public expectations as well as developments in technology. It wants to promote the use of online, click and collect or home delivery models, to help patients to get their prescriptions in a way that fits into their lifestyle.
I want to see community pharmacies that people depend on continue to thrive. The Government is consulting on introducing a Pharmacy Access Scheme, which will provide more NHS funds to certain pharmacies based on factors such as location and local needs.
Community pharmacies are important community assets. The Government is therefore consulting on how best to introduce a Pharmacy Integration Fund to transform the way community pharmacy operates in the NHS, bringing clear benefits to patients and the public.
I don’t believe that the Government can or should provide blanket subsidy for every single pharmacy. If a local pharmacy is well used and provides a valuable service then it should be protected but we must be realistic about how we make the best use of NHS funding.
Call 020 7219 5043 or email email@example.com to discuss the matter you wish to raise and the possibility of a surgery appointment. Appointments are 10 minutes long. A concise synopsis submitted in writing beforehand will ensure a productive use of time.
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