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DH expands on health secretary’s desire for ‘French model’ of pharmacy

Matt Hancock told C+D pharmacies "do more" in France
Matt Hancock told C+D pharmacies "do more" in France

The government has expanded on the health secretary’s desire to move to a French model for pharmacies.

Matt Hancock exclusively told C+D at the Conservative party conference last week (October 2) that he wants to “move towards the French model for pharmacies, where they do more”.

Asked to shed more light on Mr Hancock’s comments, the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) told C+D that pharmacy services on the continent offer a wider range of services to members of the community.

The DH is keen to see local pharmacies play a stronger role in the community, it said.

Pharmacies are integral to the DH’s plan for a fully integrated health service and are well placed to play an enhanced role in helping people stay well, it added.

Pharmacies “absolutely vital to community health”

At the Conservative party conference, Mr Hancock also told C+D that pharmacies are “absolutely vital to community health”.

“Pharmacy is incredibly important in the whole prevention agenda,” he added.

“I didn’t have enough time on the platform, because if I had one more minute I would have spent one more minute talking about the importance of pharmacies.”

In his speech, Mr Hancock called for “more treatment closer to home” and cemented his plans for “bringing new technology across the health and care system”.

What do you make of Mr Hancock's comments?

Susan M Shepherd, Community pharmacist

Meanwhile Pharmacy2U's new facility is equivalent to over 1000 pharmacies'output per month. So how many will be left to provide this french style service?

Zut alors!

I agree that PSNC are shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic but Susan 50 pharmacies at 7,500 items a month = what P2U are doing now. Even they will take some time to scale that up to the equivalent of 1,000 pharmacies.

Priyesh Desai, Superintendent Pharmacist

Talk is cheap, we heard this all before.Put your money where your mouth is!!

SydBashford Sold&Retired&DeRegistered, Community pharmacist

Yep, ONE more minute to talk about the importance of pharmacists..... that sums the DOH view of us all !

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology


Community Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Wow !!France and Spain ...No multiples....At last highly qualified pharmacists will be able to act as professionals and not be dictated to by non qualified management...Can't wait

Angry Pharmacist, Locum pharmacist

So basically do more for less money. *** Our profession and our members are an absolute joke. What do you expect I guess when some of us are willing to work for £18.50 an hour. How much do Locum dispensers get again? £14-16 p/h? Thank you GPhC for making my profession and degree seem worthless. Still, at least you’re all filling your pockets in your little offices in Canary Wharf scheming on how to make our lives even more miserable. Revalidation? Ooooh good one. What’s coming next year? How about standing up for your members for a change? Or is that not profitable?


*This comment has been edited for inappropriate language*

R A, Community pharmacist

£18.50 an hour more like £14 an hour if you include the overtime you stay to serve the last patients and checking the remaining scripts. Also, don't forget that you call the pharmacy up the following day for any queries. This adds another extra 2 hours which you don't get paid for. 

Angry Pharmacist, Locum pharmacist

I absolutely and totally understand. Until we STAND TOGETHER and FIGHT like the Doctors and Nurses do we will continue to be trampled on. 

Caroline Jones, Community pharmacist

Ooh, how exciting.....I wonder how he will unravel the mess that is 'the multiples' in the UK. I look forward to seeing a change back to individual pharmacists owning one pharmacy!

Lodi Lama, Superintendent Pharmacist

Nearly every Health minister has uttered those word. Not one has managed to implement change. We have more independent prescribing pharmacists in community pharmacy than ever before and can take care of  Long Term Conditions, as recommended in the Murray report, which was commission by the government but inexplicably shelved. We need to see action NOW. 

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Politicians and words? Do not take seriously and with a pinch of salt.

Dave Downham, Manager

Well if that expansion reflects what they think of community pharmacy...

R A, Community pharmacist

In layman's term provide all services for free.


Chris ., Community pharmacist

Where is the expansion? Am I missing something?

I'm obviously missing something. Can someone please tell me what services French pharmacies provide that ours do not?

Is the comment supposed to reflect a belief that pharmacies should be used more as an alternative to 4 hours in a walk-in-centre? Of course they should. 

Caroline Jones, Community pharmacist

Identifying mushrooms!.......

Mike Hewitson, Superintendent Pharmacist

That clears that up then....

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