“A clinical pharmacist is used to differentiate high street community pharmacy from a more clinical profession,” Ian Strachan told delegates at the NPA’s fringe event at the Conservative party conference on Monday (October 2).
“It is a deliberate attempt to be divisive and block the availability of community pharmacy [from playing] a central role in NHS policy,” he stressed.
“All pharmacists are clinical pharmacists. Let’s put that one to bed.”
Sector being "pushed back"
Speaking exclusively to C+D before the fringe event, Mr Strachan stressed that the sector is being “pushed back” by those in government who do not share the view that “the community pharmacy network is the solution”.
“Leadership needs to be aligned and get behind community pharmacy,” he said. “We have the access and capacity to do more – it doesn’t make any sense [not to use us].”
Mr Strachan also emphasised the need to influence the political party in power. “[We have] to be positive and give them the answers and the position that puts pharmacy at the centre of NHS policy making,” Mr Strachan told C+D.
During the fringe event, Conservative MP Bim Afolami was asked why pharmacy was not being discussed on the floor of the Conservative conference. He responded it is currently "very difficult" to discuss the NHS as it is "so politically charged".