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Analysis: Which manifestos have mentioned pharmacy?

Half of the six manifestos reviewed by C+D have specifically mentioned pharmacy
Half of the six manifestos reviewed by C+D have specifically mentioned pharmacy

C+D examines what each party has pledged to do for community pharmacy – and other parts of the health service – ahead of the general election on June 8.

  • The Conservatives promise to “support more integrated working, including ensuring community pharmacies can play a stronger role to keep people healthy outside hospital within the wider health system".
  • They also pledge to “take steps to enhance the provision of public services in rural areas”, including pharmacies.

Other health highlights in the manifesto

  • The Conservatives say they will increase NHS funding by "a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years".
  • Patients should have "the information they need to understand local services and hold them to account".
  • On sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) the Conservatives say they back local-level planning, providing it is "clinically led and locally supported".
  • They will also legislate to reform the "outdated system of professional regulation of healthcare professions".

  • Labour pledges to “halt pharmacy cuts and ensure all patients have access to pharmacy services, particularly in deprived or remote communities".
  • They also acknowledge the role of pharmacies in communities and say the party will “give communities more power to shape their town centres, by strengthening powers to pharmacies".

Other health highlights in the manifesto

  • The party promises to invest “over £6 billion extra” into the NHS, annually funded in part by increasing tax on private medical insurance.
  • They will "tackle the growing problem of rationing of services and medicines across England, taking action to address ‘postcode lotteries’ and making sure that the quality of care you receive does not depend on which part of the country you live in".
  • In terms of public health, the party says it will "hold a public inquiry into medicines, medical devices and medical products licensing and regulation".
  • Labour also wants to "halt STPs that are looking at closing health services across England".

  • The Liberal Democrats commit to ensuring that changes to the funding of pharmacies do not leave local communities without “reasonable access” to a community pharmacist.
  • They also commit to a review of exemption from prescription charges, to ensure the changes are fair to those with long-term conditions and disabilities.

Other health highlights in the manifesto

  • The Liberal Democrats propose an immediate rise to income tax, to raise £6 billion in additional revenue to be ring-fenced for the NHS and social care services.
  • The manifesto includes a number of policies that could have knock-on effects for pharmacy, predominantly around access to healthcare and GPs. For example, the party will encourage "GPs and other community clinicians to work in disadvantaged areas through our Patient Premium – which would give incentive payments to clinicians".

Other health highlights in the manifesto

  • The party proposes to scrap STPs.
  • It also pledges to fund health and social services from the same budget, "to make life easier for people who need to access several types of service".

  • UKIP says by “improving access to and facilities in GP surgeries, keeping minor injuries units open, and sustaining funding levels for local chemists” it can address the A&E crisis. 

Other health highlights in the manifesto

  • UKIP pledges to provide NHS England with an additional £9 billion a year by 2021/22.
  • ​The party pledges to put local communities "at the heart of healthcare".
  • It promises to "oppose health tourism" and "reduce the number of managers and executives".
  • It also supports "better funding of services to the most vulnerable in our community".

  • The party says it will introduce a "social care rescue plan", which will "help people live independently".
  • It also promises to recruit 1,000 additional doctors and 5,000 nurses.

Other health highlights in the manifesto

  • The Scottish National Party (SNP) pledges to increase the budget of NHS Scotland by £2 billion by the end of the current Scottish Parliament.
  • The SNP pledges to “reform primary care and increase the share of the total NHS budget that is committed to it”.
  • The party is also introducing the baby box scheme for every new-born child.

This article was updated in light of UKIP publishing its full manifesto on May 25, and again on June 2 after the SNP's manifesto was published.

Which party do you think will best represent pharmacy?

bilal hussain, Community pharmacist

It's a no-brainer really. I'm voting labour because I want a brighter future for pharmacy.

Interestingly, I've heard of locums who are pleased to see pharmacy owners take a hit (from the recent cuts) as many contractors have been disproportionately reducing locum rates massively (locum rates have declined by at least 33% in the last 10years) however these locums fail to see the knock-on effects pharmacy cuts will have on locum rates. I do firmly believe rates should be higher than what they are currently, however less money in the pot and more pharmacy closures will push contractors towards keeping rates the same, or lowering rates further.

Please vote wisely.

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