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Johnson says NHS is 'top priority' as Conservatives sweep election

Boris Johnson: The health service represents the best of our country
Boris Johnson: The health service represents the best of our country

The NHS is the Conservative government's “top priority”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said after securing a majority in the general election.

In what is being branded a “historic” result, the Conservative party secured 365 seats, a majority of 80 and a gain of 47 seats on the 2017 general election results.

Labour lost 59 seats, its worst defeat since 1935. Jeremy Corbyn said he will not lead the party into the next election, but that he will remain in post as the party embarks on a “period of reflection".

Jo Swinson announced she would step down as leader of the Liberal Democrat party, after she failed to secure her seat in East Dunbartonshire. The Scottish National Party (SNP) had a successful night, gaining 13 seats.

In his victory speech, Mr Johnson said he would work “night and day” to repay the trust of voters.

“The health service, that represents the best of our country with this single beautiful idea that whoever we are – rich, poor, young, old – the NHS is there for us.

“And that is why the NHS is this one-nation Conservative government’s top priority,” he stressed.

See below for what the Conservative party's election manifesto pledged for community pharmacy.

PSNC: We will promote pharmacy to new MPs

In a statement this morning (December 13), the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said the result of the general election, including changes of party leadership, will not impact its plans to “reach out to individual MPs” and “attempt to gain or reaffirm their support”.

The negotiator looks forward to working with new MPs “to promote the pharmacy sector and all that it has to offer”, it added.

While both health secretary Matt Hancock and pharmacy minister Jo Churchill retained their seats, in West Suffolk and Bury St Edmunds respectively, the PSNC said "a cabinet reshuffle is likely, and we will keep you updated on their ministerial roles".

Chief executive Simon Dukes said the aim now is “to help show how community pharmacy can be better utilised to reduce the pressures elsewhere in the NHS”.

“My team and I will continue to work closely with Mr Johnson’s new government to develop the community pharmacy service, building on the foundation set out in the five-year [funding contract],” he added.

AIMp: We will put pharmacy forward

The Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) is “looking forward” to working with the new government, NHS colleagues and “other stakeholders” to “put pharmacy forward as a key player within healthcare”, chief executive Leyla Hannbeck said.

During the campaign period, AIMp encouraged its members to “take every opportunity to highlight the valuable work that community pharmacy teams do”, she added.

NPA: Keep costs down for small businesses

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) said it will “engage with the government” about “keeping costs down for small businesses and helping high streets to thrive” following the general election result.

“Our job is to work with whoever is in power to shape policies that will support pharmacies and the patients they serve,” it added.

Along with other pharmacy bodies, the NPA will “ensure that a consistent message reaches ministers and officials” about the “need for investment” in the sector.

RPS: Deliver on commitments

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) England chair Claire Anderson said following a “huge focus” on the NHS, the new government “needs to deliver on commitments around patient care, increased funding, and growing the health and care workforce”.

“It’s crucial that the government backs pharmacy to help deliver the ambitions of the NHS long-term plan,” she added.

Professor Anderson also highlighted the workplace pressures the sector is under and said it is “vital” that the government “expands health and wellbeing support” to “all those providing NHS services”.

The RPS is also “looking for more certainty” on the UK’s “ambition for a future relationship with Europe and wider global community, on key areas such as medicines, research and workforce”, she added.

CCA: Give pharmacy necessary funding

The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) – which represents the UK’s largest multiples and supermarket pharmacies – will “continue to make the case to government” for the “necessary funding” to deliver the “high quality care” that patients expect from community pharmacy, chief executive Malcolm Harrison said.

“CCA members are already focused on demonstrating that community pharmacy can play its part in providing urgent care, and in doing so, ease pressure elsewhere in primary care,” he added.

What did the Conservative party pledge in its manifesto?

The Conservatives failed to mention community pharmacy in their manifesto, only discussing recruiting GP pharmacists. When asked for clarification on their community pharmacy policy, a spokesperson told C+D: “We will be boosting the amounts going into community and primary care by £4.5 billion.”

Other healthcare highlights in the Conservative manifesto included a promise to recruit 6,000 more pharmacists, nurses and physiotherapists to work in GP surgeries by 2025, with the aim of delivering 50 million more GP appointments a year. It has not yet set out a breakdown of these roles.

The party also pledged to “make sure patients can benefit from digital booking and consultations offered by phone, Skype or online if they want them” and stressed that the price the NHS pays for medicines will “not be on the table” when negotiating trade deals, in response to ongoing criticism from Labour.

What do you make of the general election results?

geoffrey gardener, Community pharmacist

Adapt or die, there will be more money in the NHS, but as a couple of earlier posters have pointed out the concept of a community pharmacy, doesn t appear to exist anymore, patients are quite happy to entrust their script to a "pharmacy factory" hundreds of miles away. Do the extra services we provide in adition to dispensing justify the cost to the tax payer? Difficult times ahead I am afraid.

Industry Pharmacist, Head/Senior Manager

The public doesn't care about the community pharmacist. They just want their correct medidince quickly. Pharmacy is just a shop I'm afrid .

geoffrey gardener, Community pharmacist

Not even a shop, more like another "Amazon". Was at a football match on Saturday, where Pharmacy2U free delivery adverts kept rolling round on the electric advertising boards. 

C A, Community pharmacist

Isn't it ironic then that the government cuts and push towards hub and spoke means that they're going to be getting them more slowly? 

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

That email the PDA sent out trying to act all neutral but actually strongly suggesting you vote for Corbyn didn't stop the Tories then?

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

I was disgusted with that, and rightly told them so!  How on earth could they promote THAT MAN knowing his background and history, in the hope he may shower pharmacy with more money. The man who invited members of the IRA to the Commons for tea, shortly after they had tried to kill Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet in the Brighton bomb in 1984. 

I must admit I was shocked that the PDA would try to act neutral, 'we don't support any political party'  blah blah blah, but then ask us to consider those who would fund the NHS better and look after workers' rights. Well, it could only possibly be one party they were suggesting.  Well,  I am happy to say that I told them what I thought of it then voted for BORIS!

With a better leader, then yes, things may have been different, but if you watch any of the MPs who lost their seat interviewed, like Caroline Flint, who I much admire, Corbyn went down, on the doorstep, like a bucket of cold sick, and I can't believe 32% of the population would be happy with THAT MAN running the country. To quote Lady Nugee, " they must be stupid" ( and I hope Caroline Flint wins the legal case, as Thornberry is obviously lying through her teeth!) 

Independent Dave, Community pharmacist

LOL....outside of gp pharmacists, pharmacy is not seen as part of the nhs, we’re barely seen as a profession! Watch as what’s left gets picked apart over the next 5 years. 

C A, Community pharmacist

I came here to say something pretty similar - pharmacy isn't seen as part of the NHS by either the public or the government. 

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

Well it isn't is it?!! 

The NHS is public sector, community pharmacy is private sector contracted TO the NHS to provide a dispensing service, etc.  And Dave, regarding the profession part, I totally agree, but with an ex-Lib Undem in charge of the RPS, don't expect that to change anytime soon. 


Community pharmacy will split in 3 over the next 10 to 15 yrs. Or rather the split already starting will increase. 

First, the move to practice pharmacists working with/for?! GPs will escalate with the PCN development. and with better salaries than being a community pharmacist. 

Then we will see an increase in hub and spoke and off-site dispensing, leaving a much smaller community pharmacy presence on the High St. to do acute scripts and provide advice, but on a salary not commensurate, in my opinion, in spending time doing A levels and then 5 yrs of training to end up on a Salary similar if not lower than that of a Deputy Manager in Aldi or Lidl! 

(Where I live there are 2 towns, about 3 miles apart, where each High St had 5 and 4 pharmacies at one point!, now reduced from 5 to 3 and the other still maintaining a 4 at the moment but as there are 2 of a large chain I would imagine that will become 3 quite soon.) as has been decided, a single High St in a very small town doesn't need 5 pharmacies. 

The way people shop and obtain goods is changing with the advent of the internet, look at how Amazon has destroyed things like independent book shops.  We cannot expect pharmacy to be immune to these changes. 

I hope to see a smaller network of pharmacies and hopefully more independents or small groups with the big chains selling up, where you can access advice and services from a pharmacist not over-stressed because all the community trays are being made up by a robot and the collection/delivery repeats are made at the hub n spoke, thus freeing up her time to spend with customers. Whether this will happen remains to be seen.

My final 10 yrs to retirement will be very interesting for community pharmacy with many changes, some good, and some not so good. But we have to adapt to what the public/customers/patients want in the way they access obtaining their medication. The young may favour the internet for advice and Pharmacy2U for their items. Maybe as they age, they will come to value the advice available within a 'bricks and mortar' pharmacy. Who knows?!

Allan Wilson, Community pharmacist

England and Wales-what have you done?

P M, Community pharmacist

well the turkeys finally voted for xmas...

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Time will tell if Boris continues his record of lying.

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

All politicians lie! It's basically in the job description! Yes, Boris is a liar, a cheat, a philanderer, looks after number 1, plots, and you know what...... the public KNOW all this and discount it when they vote.

They like him. He is real, he has flaws, he is seen as a much more normal 'bloke' than THAT MAN he was up against. (They discount all the Eton/Oxbridge stuff).

Would you go for dinner, or a pint with Boris. Most would say, Yes. Would you be so keen to spend time with JC? As a poll showed, no! 

And I would hardly call the Leader of the Opposition, a man of high moral values with his history and background and voting record and the 'friends' he keeps. 

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

No mention of pharmacy in manifesto = no money for pharmacy. Next question!

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

A manifesto is not required for Multiples/Emplyers to treat workers with a modicum of respect. Never mind remuneration

Job of the week

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