PSNC is this week launching a new influencing campaign to build wider political support for community pharmacies and ensure that MPs and Peers across Parliament understand the risks to pharmacy services that the current pressures on the sector are causing.
In a Parliamentary event to be held tomorrow (Tuesday 15th November) MPs and Peers will hear from PSNC, LPC and other pharmacy bodies about the current situation. As well as showing them the scope of what pharmacy has to offer – including offering the MPs blood pressure checks – we will be briefing them on the urgent need for action to address the pressures on the sector.
After the event, we will be working with LPCs and contractors to organise a series of pharmacy visits for key Parliamentarians including Minsters, Committee and APPG Members. We will also be undertaking more media work to highlight the pressures on the sector and to call for action.
This is happening alongside work to develop a new vision and strategy for the community pharmacy sector, all of which is part of PSNC’s strategy to lay the ground for future CPCF negotiations.
To help engage with Parliamentarians we have developed a key messaging document which sets out a four-point action plan that we want Government to take immediately.
We will be looking for Parliamentary supporters to ask Government to:
Resolve the funding squeeze: Community pharmacy needs an immediate funding uplift to prevent collapse, as well as emergency business relief to get through this winter.
Tackle regulatory and other burdens: Pharmacies must be protected from medicines market shocks, supported with their workforce crisis, helped to free up capacity and freed from red tape that does not enhance patient care.
Help pharmacies to expand their role in primary care: Pharmacies could do more to support the delivery of primary care for example through offering clinical services for long-term conditions – like hypertension, diabetes and respiratory disease, supporting people to adopt healthier lifestyles and prevent the development of long-term conditions, medicines optimisation, and a much wider variety of NHS vaccinations.
Commission a Pharmacy First service: A fully-funded pharmacy service that allows patients to have walk-in consultations for minor conditions would provide accessible care and ease pressure on general practice.
This is a short-term action plan which we are working towards in the coming months and using in our influencing work to ensure that key target politicians and officials understand the unsustainable pressures that pharmacies are operating under. Any contractors interested in hosting a pharmacy visit as part of this work please email: email@example.com
We also very shortly publish a toolkit of resources to support LPCs and contractors in line with our action plan. This will provide everything that is needed to target MPs, politicians and policy makers and convey to them the challenges the sector faces as well as win their support for the actions we need.
The action plan will be revised in the next phase of our influencing work, and of course we also aim to engage Parliamentarians with the new vision and strategic options for community pharmacy as the findings from Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund emerge.
Zoe Long, PSNC Director of Communications and Public Affairs, said:
“Community pharmacies are facing immense, unsustainable operational and financial pressures which are impacting on businesses, staff, and patients. This is not acceptable, and we will be telling politicians across the political spectrum that something must be done about it. Our short-term action plan has been written to help us do that while work continues on the longer-term vision and strategic options for the sector.
The best way for MPs to understand what is going on in pharmacy is to see it for themselves and to talk to contractors directly, and this is why we’ll be looking to organise a series of pharmacy visits over the coming months to support the briefings we are giving across Westminster. We would be very grateful for any help that contractors and LPCs can give with this campaign.”