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Labour government will ‘ensure pharmacy is supported’, party pledges

Labour party: Community pharmacy is absolutely vital to prevention
Labour party: Community pharmacy is absolutely vital to prevention

The Labour party will make sure “community pharmacy is supported” if it wins the general election, as part of its vision to improve access to community care services.

The party pledged to “allocate a greater proportion” of NHS funding to community services “and build interdisciplinary, patient-focused services across primary care, mental health and social care”, as part of its manifesto published today (November 21).

The party also promised “better access to primary care services” for patients living in “deprived and remote communities”.

“To support our transition to community healthcare services, we will expand GP training places to provide resources for 27 million more appointments each year and ensure community pharmacy is supported,” the Labour party said.

When asked by C+D for clarification on its plans for the sector, a Labour spokesperson said the party “has always been a vocal supporter of community pharmacy”.

“A Labour government would want to work with community pharmacies” to make sure they are given “the security they need”, they added.

“The healthcare challenges we face today all depend on a health service investing more in prevention and helping people manage their healthcare, and community pharmacy is absolutely vital to that.”

Speaking exclusively to C+D in September, the shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said he is aware of the pressures many pharmacies are under and is prepared to give them the support they need.

End to prescription charges

The Labour party’s manifesto reiterated its intention to abolish prescription fees in England – which it first announced at its annual conference in September – and its pledge to bring health services “in-house”.

The party also wants to introduce a state-owned generics drug company if it wins the general election.

Liberal Democrats: Make more use of pharmacists

In its manifesto published yesterday (November 20), the Liberal Democrat party pledged to “make greater, appropriate use of nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists” to help end the GP shortfall by 2025.

It also wants to introduce more “phone or video appointments, where clinically suitable”.

C+D has asked the Liberal Democrat party for more details on its community pharmacy policies.

The Conservative party is yet to publish its full manifesto, but has pledged to recruit 6,000 more pharmacists, nurses and physiotherapists to work in GP surgeries by 2025 if it wins the general election.

What do you think of the Labour Party's pledge?

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

I can't believe I've been paying for stuff my whole life when Jeremy 'Magic Grandpa' Corbyn could have been giving it to me for FREE.


Imagine how much money I would save if I knew a vague ethereal other could pay for all the stuff I want!

Leon The Apothecary, Student

It is not that unfeasible to cost for considering how little percentage of the population actually pay a fee for medication. Consider the savings to administration time too and kill the need to "police exemptions".

anti-depressed Pharmacist, Manager

Free prescription free WiFi free tuition free money here free money there, I wonder whos taxes will pay for all this when the rich pack up to Monaco.

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Exactly. All the contractors will be working remotely from Monaco, Switzerland, Jersey.....

Graham Morris, Design

Community pharmacy is a private business contractor to the NHS. Exactly what Labour says it no longer wants to encourage. One thing I have learnt about politicians' promises to pharmacy over the years is that none of them can be trusted. A manifesto seems to be a wish list before an election that quickly evaporates when the reality of holding power strikes home. We have all seen the 180 degree about turn over the pledge to honour the referendum. Will the staff at the dispensary level benefit from the proposed tax squeeze placed on their employers? Will our medics want to practice in a country that imposes high taxes on high achievers? You have already seen consultants retiring early due to the tax regime imposed on their pensions. Be very careful of false promises.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I have to reluctantly agree with you on some of these points Graham, this election is boiling down to who do we distrust the least.

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