Leading national pharmacy bodies have agreed to work together on a programme of activities to lobby for fair NHS funding for pharmacies in England, including co-ordinating efforts to mobilise public support.
The Save Our Pharmacies campaign will focus on highlighting both the pressures that pharmacies are under and the huge untapped potential of the sector – including to offer a Pharmacy First service – if appropriate resourcing is made available.
The pharmacy bodies will develop shared resources for effective parliamentary lobbying and mobilising public opinion, in the face of chronic underfunding that threatens further pharmacy closures.
They will also work hard to show off the value of pharmacy and to continue pushing for a fully funded Pharmacy First service.
Regular campaign events are expected, with the first likely to run in March.
#saveourpharmacies will be the default hashtag for the campaign on social media.
The pharmacy bodies –AIM, CCA, NPA and PSNC – already meet regularly to discuss shared concerns, share intelligence and to co-ordinate work such as to support the All-Party Pharmacy Group. However, this announcement marks a step up in terms of focused joint advocacy on funding matters.
The intention is to make campaigning on this topic more impactful and cut through to public and political opinion with consistent and repeated messaging across the sector.
Further details will be given in due course.
Janet Morrison, PSNC Chief Executive, said:
“We’ve been telling the Government for some months that they have reached a fork in the road: they can continue to degrade pharmacy funding and let patients suffer the inevitable consequences of a reduction in services and pharmacies; or they can invest in this popular, cost-effective, entrepreneurial sector and empower pharmacies to help to meet the many challenges facing our health service.
“This campaign is a clear warning shot to Government about the path they are currently on, and it will also help to keep patients on our side which is something contractors have been asking us to help them with.”
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