In what is believed to be David Mowat’s first round of visits to local pharmacies since taking on the pharmacy portfolio from Alistair Burt in July, Mr Mowat visited staff at Rowlands Pharmacy on Folly Lane last Friday (September 16) to discuss the different services the sector provides.
Pharmacy manager Modie Al-Shakarchi said he personally spent “about 40 minutes” with Mr Mowat, who was “very interested in hearing about the advanced services” community pharmacy offers patients.
“He was also asking about funding, in regards to where most of it comes from,” he added.
Two days before Mr Mowat's visit, C+D learned of a letter sent to stakeholders informing them that the government will announce its funding "package" for community pharmacy in England in mid-October, to be implemented in December.
“I told [Mr Mowat] that most of [our funding] comes from dispensing, but we also get funding for other services like medicines use reviews the new medicine services," Mr Al-Shakarchi said.
Mr Al-Shakarchi noted that Mr Mowat “did seem to take on board” that pharmacy “is not just about dispensing”.
Looking to Scotland for answers
Helen Murphy, chief executive officer of Community Pharmacy Cheshire and Wirral – who was also present during Mr Mowat’s visit – said she explained to the minister the role of the local pharmaceutical committee and its relationship with local commissioners.
“I think [Mr Mowat] feels services is the way forward for community pharmacy,” Ms Murphy said, after he was shown a blood pressure measurement demonstration in the pharmacy.
“He is obviously aware of the Scottish model [of pharmacy services] and has a positive view of the way that has been implemented,” she added.
Mr Al-Shakarchi added that as part of his visit to Rowlands, Mr Mowat presented the pharmacy team with their healthy living pharmacy (HLP) certificate, after their efforts to reach HLP status “a couple of months ago”.
Earlier in the day, Mr Mowat received his flu jab at Hood Manor pharmacy. He ended his day by opening a new Eric Moore Partnership Medi-Centre, on Tanners Lane, his parliamentary office confirmed to C+D.