Pharmacies must claim ‘more responsibility and funding’, says public health director

Pharmacy must engage with local directors of public health and claim "more responsibility and funding" as NHS reforms take shape, London's director of public health has told the all-party pharmacy group (APPG).

In a meeting with the APPG, Simon Tanner backed a role for the sector in helping to overcome major public health challenges and expressed support for the Portsmouth Healthy Living Pharmacy model.

According to APPG chair Kevin Barron, Dr Tanner gave a steer on what pharmacy needed to do to ensure it was heard by commissioners.

"In particular, community pharmacy needs to engage locally with directors of public health and make a claim for more responsibility and funding," Mr Barron said.

 "[Dr Tanner] was particularly impressed by the Healthy Living Pharmacy model, and the benefits it would bring to patients up and down the country," he said. "Dr Tanner also supported the introduction of a QOF-style system for community pharmacy, which the APPG has been advocating for some time and which we hope the government is taking seriously."

The comments followed the decommissioning of Doncaster's QOF in March to slash costs.

Mr Barron added: "There are sweeping healthcare reforms on the horizon, and a great deal of uncertainty amongst providers and commissioning organisations alike. The APPG is going to be meeting key decision-makers, away from Westminster, to ensure that pharmacy is in their minds at this crucial time, and to ensure that the concerns of pharmacists are heeded and understood."

Dr Tanner is the regional director of public health for London and health adviser to the Greater London Authority.

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