The Labour party has won a large majority in the 2024 General Election and will now form the next Government.

With just a handful of seats left to be declared, Labour has won more than 400 seats – well above the 326 seats needed for a majority in Parliament, meaning Sir Keir Starmer MP will become the next Prime Minister.

Community Pharmacy England has been working for over a year to build positive relationships with the Labour party health team ahead of this election, alongside those of other political parties, and this led to specific commitments in their and others’ manifestos. This work has included briefing Shadow Ministers and their policy advisors on community pharmacy pressures and the vision for community pharmacy.

We were pleased during the election period to hear Labour MP Wes Streeting, who is widely expected to become the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, recognising the enormous funding pressures that community pharmacies face and the many closures this has led to.

This is a helpful start for community pharmacy, albeit coming with the caveats that no spending commitments to pharmacy have been made, and that the Labour party has been clear that it will follow the preceding Government’s fiscal rules, meaning public finances will remain very challenging across the board.

Pharmacist Taiwo Owatemi – who has chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Pharmacy – has retained her seat in Coventry North West, and Sadik Al-Hassan who is a community pharmacist, has become the MP for North Somerset.

We will be seeking early meetings with new Government Ministers to discuss the pressures on community pharmacy and to explore the community pharmacy independent prescribing service which was pledged in the Labour party manifesto.

The work to build advocates for pharmacy in the new Parliament has been ongoing for several months, with many Parliamentary Candidates visiting pharmacies and pledging their support for the sector during the election period.

We are pleased this morning to see that a number of the Candidates with whom we and LPCs have met or engaged with over the past six weeks, and who have expressed support for community pharmacy, have won their seats. This means the new Parliament will be comprised of a number of MPs who are already sympathetic to the need for investment and support for pharmacies – we will be working urgently to build on this.

In the coming days and weeks we will be re-engaging with MPs, new Ministers and the Labour policy team; re-mapping our key stakeholders as Shadow Cabinet, Select Committee, All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) and other roles are filled; and providing updated resources for LPCs and pharmacy owners to engage with their MPs.

Community Pharmacy England Chief Executive, Janet Morrison, said:

“Congratulations to all our new and returning MPs, and to the new Labour Government.

One of the first tasks for the new Government health team will be to conclude negotiations on the 2024/25 Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). This is critical to assure the future for community pharmacies and the safe supply of medicines to patients, but it will be one item of many on their list of NHS crises to solve.

Building on the work we have already done with the Labour health team – which has led to important manifesto commitments and a recognition of the pressures on community pharmacy – we are seeking very early meetings with new Ministers on this topic. However, even in a best-case scenario, we expect it to take some weeks before they are ready to commence formal negotiations with us – this is always the case with a new administration who will need briefings from civil servants and time to form their own views.

Similarly, new MPs will now be working to get their teams in place and set up their offices. We will make contact with them, across all political parties, soon, as well as providing resources and guidance to help LPCs and pharmacy owners to write to their own MPs and to arrange pharmacy visits. This is all important work to build advocates across the new Parliament, supporting our work at national level.

We were pleased to see the Labour party making commitments to expand the role of community pharmacy teams, but we will be underlining to Ministers that we can only make this happen if pharmacies are sustainable. We look forward to early discussions on this. To find out more about our post-election work and the outlook for community pharmacy, please attend your upcoming regional event by registering here:”

Zoe Long, Director of Communications, Corporate and Public Affairs said:

“Congratulations to all new and returning MPs, and our thanks go to all the LPCs and pharmacy teams who have been supporting the work over the past few weeks to prepare for this new Parliament – briefing candidates and hosting pharmacy visits. We would also like to extend our thanks to those long-standing community pharmacy supporters who lost their seats at this election.

It was great to see a good number of pharmacy supporters winning seats overnight and this is positive for community pharmacy. But alongside our work to influence the new Government directly, today marks the beginning of the next phase of public affairs work – to build and strengthen that network of allies and advocates for community pharmacy across the new Parliament, pressing for investment and support for community pharmacy. We are looking forward to working with LPCs and pharmacy on this, and to meeting and briefing more MPs across all political parties over the coming weeks.”

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