Health secretary Jeremy Hunt wants plans to employ more pharmacists in GP practices to be sustainable, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has said.
Mr Hunt was "keen" to learn that the Royal College of General Practitioners wants to put "a pharmacist in every practice", said RPS head of public affairs Charles Willis after meeting the health secretary at the Conservative party conference last Sunday (October 4).
Mr Hunt wanted to hear about the "sustainability" of the NHS England pilot to place 250 pharmacists in GP practices, Mr Willis told C+D.
“We explained that their project was self-funding [because] the pharmacists will release more money than they actually cost,” Mr Willis said.
Mr Hunt "really gets new models of care” and is "fully behind" the RPS's call for pharmacists to be able to amend patient records, Mr Willis said.
"He is keen on IT solutions. He was very happy to talk to us about that and we will be doing more work about that in future," he said.
Mr Willis, a Labour party member, believes that “the government’s agenda is pharmacy-focused” and it has been “very clear that pharmacists have a greater role to play in the health and care system".
“The government is ready to talk with pharmacists and it is open to exploring what else pharmacists can do”, he said.
Mr Willis added that Mr Hunt "clearly has a passion” for improving healthcare and "sees pharmacists as one of the solutions".
Pharmacy Voice told C+D last week that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was "willing to engage" in conversations about the sector's potential at his party's conference.