Boris Johnson visited Ruislip Manor Pharmacy in north west London yesterday (August 6). He met owner Sanjay Doegar and his team to discuss the sector’s challenging financial situation and community pharmacy’s role in supporting the NHS in light of COVID-19.
“It’s great that Mr Johnson made time in his busy schedule to hear about the situation on the ground for community pharmacy,” Mr Doegar said.
“We talked about the work of pharmacies during the coronavirus pandemic, the flu season ahead and the need for long-term investment to unlock our sector’s potential,” he added.
Commenting on the visit, National Pharmacy Association CEO Mark Lyonette said it is “really important that senior figures like this hear first-hand the experiences of frontline pharmacy teams”.
“Politicians are getting the consistent message that pharmacy teams are heroes on the health service frontline and that more support is needed from the government, to keep the doors open and for pharmacies to play a key role in Britain’s eventual recovery from the pandemic,” Mr Lyonette said.
Mr Johnson visited another pharmacy in his constituency in January, where he met Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies CEO Leyla Hannbeck and heard how pharmacy can help alleviate pressure on other parts of the NHS.
In a video posted on Twitter on March 29, the Prime Minister thanked pharmacies for their work during the pandemic, acknowledging “how important it is that our pharmacists are not only dispensing vital medicines but also very often reassurance to the customers they interact with” during COVID-19.
Last week (July 30), health secretary Matt Hancock also praised the work of community pharmacy during the pandemic, commenting that pharmacies are “deeply embedded in the communities they serve” and have shown “how much more they can do” during the COVID-19 outbreak.