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NHS England has ignored pharmacy's Call to Action, say C+D readers

RPS president Ash Soni says pharmacists should expect to see the consultation responses reflected in NHS England's primary care strategy 

70 per cent of C+D readers feel that NHS England has not listened to the responses to its Call to Action


Seven out of 10 readers feel NHS England has not listened to the responses to its Call to Action consultation on pharmacy.

Seventy per cent of 110 respondents to a C+D poll, carried out between October 30 and November 6, said "nothing had changed" since the consultation on the future of pharmacy closed in March. Only two per cent of respondents to C+D's poll felt NHS England had "started taking the sector seriously" since it was "overwhelmed" by more than 800 responses to the consultation.

But 28 per cent of readers said they could not be sure about the commissioning body's attitude to the sector until it published its primary care strategy later this autumn, which will be informed by Call to Action responses.

Pharmacy and primary care representatives said the poll results were to be expected and pharmacists' views should change once NHS England published its strategy.

Nav Chana, chairman of the National Association of Primary Care, said there was a "time lag" between the end of the consultation and its impact.

"I think in time we will see the value of community pharmacy being recognised much more. Once that's happened, doors are going to open to look at new models [of care]," he told C+D.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Ash Soni said pharmacists should expect to see the responses to the consultation reflected in the primary care strategy.

"We just need to see that strategy [and] see some evolution. If that's not there, then we need to ask serious questions from NHS England and negotiators about what they're doing, because it can't be the end of the road for us," he told C+D.

"I do believe that NHS England recognises our value, they just have to say the words and make it happen," he added.

A C+D investigation last week revealed that NHS England held six meetings between January and August to specifically discuss its strategy for community pharmacy.

Mr Soni is one of the attendees at C+D's webinar on NHS England's primary care strategy – and its potential for community pharmacy – to be held at 7pm on Wednesday, November 26. You are invited to join the debate - email [email protected] to register your interest and receive further details of how to tune in.

What would you like to see in NHS England's primary care strategy?   

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