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UPDATED: 'We haven’t exploited pharmacists’ skills enough'

Hunt: It has been a difficult period for the pharmacy sector
Hunt: It has been a difficult period for the pharmacy sector

The government has not “exploited the tremendous skills pharmacists have” nearly as "effectively as it might", Jeremy Hunt has said.

During a speech given at the NHS Confederation’s annual conference on Thursday (June 15) the secretary of state for health said he recognised it had been “a difficult period” for the sector as it has been asked along with “every other part” of the NHS to make efficiency savings.

Mr Hunt was responding to a question from Helga Mangion, National Pharmacy Association (NPA) policy manager and community pharmacist, who asked how he would engage with frontline pharmacists and implement the Conservatives' manifesto pledge to help pharmacies keep people out of hospital.

“This is not about a smaller role for pharmacy, it is about seeing a different and bigger role,” Mr Hunt said.

He referenced pharmacists starting to have access to "electronic health records" and said advice given by a “clinically trained pharmacist” is “fantastically useful” in terms of keeping people away from A&E departments.

“I think we want a closer relationship with pharmacists but it's a different relationship,” he added.

In response, the NPA said it would follow up with the health secretary about his commitment to engage personally in a dialogue with the sector.

Mr Hunt was reappointed as health secretary for the fourth time this week following prime minister Theresa May’s reshuffle.

This article was updated on June 16 to include the name of the community pharmacist who asked the question, and the NPA's response.

What do you make of the health secretary's remarks?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Trust Mr Hunt to use the word exploited. It's like he's doing it on purpose...

R A, Community pharmacist

How much more can you exploit when the pharmacy field is nearly all barren?

Amal England, Public Relations

Jeremy....uh...i don't want to be exploited. However, i would like to be utilised and receive reasonable remuneration..... Just what you wanted when you applied for your job.

Oyekunle Onifade, Community pharmacist

That definitely was a slip of tongue, surely what he meant to say was: 'We haven't exploited pharmacists enough'.

Pupinder Ghatora, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Has this *unt not exploited all of us and the NHS enough!!!  Get stuffed!

Pupinder Ghatora, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Has this *unt not exploited all of us and the NHS enough!!!  Get stuffed!

Pupinder Ghatora, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Has this *unt not exploited all of us and the NHS enough!!!  Get stuffed!

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Oh Pupi ....lots of hutzpah lolx

Paul Samuels, Community pharmacist

I wonder how Mr Hunt would like to do more for a pay cut?

As said platitudes don't convince anyone--least of all anyone who lives in the real world.

Uma Patel, Community pharmacist

We have been 'exploited' for far too long. Until we refuse to provide extra services for free we will always be expolited. Its time we exploited this weak government. Somehow I am not optimistic

Best Farma, Ecommerce

Phamacy not really top of the agenda. They're currently having to wriggle out of the responsibility for death of those unfortunate mostly non-caucasians in that tower.

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

It seems platitudes just don't seem to convince anyone, and the current state of the government hardly inspires confidence in any policy direction.....

Dilip Shah, Community pharmacist

Remember Hollow promises.

This retoric has continued for a long while, action speaks louder than words and make sure the monies follow any services Pharmacist are made to deliver.



Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

correct! words are plentiful and cheap too.....

Chris Mckendrick, Community pharmacist





the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.


Adam Irvine, Community pharmacist

I welcome this recognition that we have far more to offer than are currently commissioned to deliver. It's the start and we should as a profession look and respond positively to this rather than pick apart semantics of language used. It's a start of the new relationship with the DoH and politically important given the recent dispute held with them. Over to PSNC who I'm sure will have jumped on this to move the CPFV forwards.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

I've been exploited more than enough, thanks.

Sue Per, Locum pharmacist

I presume, you mean, by the greedy mercenary contractors constantly pleading poverty, yet living in mansions and driving "flash" cars. As usual,  The locums and employees will be forced to provide extra services for nil consideration, and the contractors will pocket the fee profit,

Time for pharma revolutionn!!

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Now you might very well think that, but of course, I couldn't possibly comment...

Andy Burrells, Community pharmacist

Exploit is the key word...

Here you go! Have more of a role but don't think you're getting paid for it. It just makes you all feel a little better about yourselves

Del Boy, GP

First thing first, take another 30 % cut. Then see what service you can do to help our NHS colleagues ?

Del Boy, GP

We haven 't exploited them enough rather.

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