Commissioning more national pharmacy services, such as minor ailments and smoking cessation, as well as expanding the number of vaccinations available from pharmacies, would “make access to NHS care more convenient”, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have said.
In a shared manifesto for community pharmacy published yesterday (November 18), the pharmacy bodies urge political parties to consider the sector “as a valuable health and wellbeing asset and a solution to many longstanding problems in the NHS”.
In their manifesto, the bodies call on election candidates to remove the prescription charge in England, in line with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, “so everyone has access to treatments they need from their local pharmacy”.
“Diverting millions of consultations to pharmacies” will help relieve pressure on GPs and hospitals, the manifesto states.
However, “pharmacies need to have full access to patient care records, with the patient’s consent”, to achieve this.
“The NHS health check should be available from all pharmacies,” it added.
Read what else the pharmacy bodies are calling for on the ‘Vote Pharmacy’ website.
Invite prospective MPs to your pharmacy
The NPA, PSNC and RPS will be “actively promoting” their shared manifesto in the lead-up to the general election on December 12, using the #VotePharmacy hashtag, they said.
They have also called on pharmacy teams to invite their local parliamentary candidates to visit their branches and pledge their support for community pharmacies.
“Our message is clear: with the right support and investment from the next government, community pharmacies can deliver even greater benefits for patients and the NHS,” they said.
The Labour party has pledged to scrap prescription charges in England, should it win the next general election, while the Conservative party has pledged to recruit 6,000 more pharmacists, nurses and physiotherapists to work in GP surgeries by 2025.