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Labour appoints new shadow pharmacy minister

New shadow pharmacy minister Preet Kaur Gill has visited an independent pharmacy after being appointed to the role earlier this month, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has announced. 

The Labour party’s new shadow minister for primary care and public health has made her “first visit to a community pharmacy” since being appointed to the role earlier this month (September 6), according to the NPA.

In a statement released today (September 26) the NPA said that Ms Gill visited Eason’s Pharmacy in Staffordshire on Friday (September 22).

Praising the pharmacy’s advanced services, which include the new medicines service (NMS) and blood pressure monitoring, Ms Gill said that she wanted “to see pharmacy being part of the primary care offer”.

This should build on “the excellence and ability of pharmacists to reach their license and do so much more for their communities”, she added.

Third generation owner Kieran Eason said it was “great that Ms Gill came to hear first-hand about the challenges we face and the enormous potential of community pharmacies across the country”.

He stressed that while he is “skilled to provide even more convenient care” thanks to his independent prescribing qualification, the “current low levels of funding severely limit” pharmacies’ contribution.

 

Health background?

  

Before her appointment as shadow pharmacy minister, Ms Gill served as shadow secretary of state for international development.

She has been the MP for Birmingham Edgbaston continuously since 2017 and is the chair of the co-operative party parliamentary group and patron of a social housing charity, according to her website.

Before entering parliament, Ms Gill was a social worker and a councillor and cabinet member for public health and protection, it said.

Born and raised in the West Midlands, she is also the UK’s first female Sikh MP, it added.

Ms Gill took over the pharmacy minister role in a reshuffle that comes weeks before the annual Labour party conference, which is set to start on October 8.

Meanwhile, the government is currently working with Community Pharmacy England (CPE) to negotiate the £645 million primary care recovery plan investment announced earlier this year. 

CPE admitted earlier this month that funding negotiations have been “slower than…hoped”.

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