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8 MPs lined up to support 'excellent' Yorkshire flu service

Rachael Maskell MP was the first of eight MPs to visit their local pharmacy to promote the national service

All of North Yorkshire’s MPs will visit their local pharmacy over the next two months to show their support for the national flu service.

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, visited Whitworth Chemists in York last week (September 2) to promote the NHS England-commissioned initiative – the day after it launched for a second year – and praised the “excellent” and “accessible” service.

The region's seven other MPs will also visit their local pharmacy over September and October, according to Community Pharmacy North Yorkshire (CPNY).

CPNY chief executive officer Jack Davies told C+D that last year’s national flu service was “incredibly successful” in North Yorkshire, where the number of jabs delivered by pharmacists increased by 283% on 2014-15.

Although CPNY has been proactive in encouraging MPs to promote flu vaccinations in the past, Mr Davies said this is the first time all eight of the region's MPs will come together to take part.

Many pharmacies in North Yorkshire have been providing flu vaccinations for over five years, both as a private and locally commissioned service, he added.

Discussing “ongoing issues”

Mr Davies said the visits will give CPNY a chance to discuss “ongoing pharmacy issues” such as the government’s proposed £170 million cut to English pharmacy funding, which pharmacy minister David Mowat announced on Monday (September 5) was delayed beyond October.

Local MPs are “generally very positive” about the sector, and understand the “social capital” that community pharmacies can bring in rural areas, Mr Davies added.

Upcoming MP visits
  • Rishi Sunak Village Pharmacy, Catterick, September 16
  • Andrew Jones Lloydspharmacy, Harrogate, September 16
  • Julian Sturdy Boots, Haxby, York, September 23
  • Kevin Hollinrake Beckside Pharmacy, Pickering, September 30
  • Nigel Adams Milford Pharmacy, South Milford, September 30
  • Julian Smith Pateley Bridge Pharmacy, Pateley Bridge, September 30
  • Robert Goodwill Boots, Whitby, October 14

Watch superintendent Antonio Monachello explain how his Kent pharmacy carried out over 1,500 flu jabs last year.

Have you invited your MP to your pharmacy?

Nick Hunter, Community pharmacist

Good on you, Jack and the guys in NY.

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