It was good to speak with representatives from Community Pharmacy England, other sector bodies and frontline community pharmacists about the role community pharmacies can play in helping to alleviate the winter pressures facing the NHS, and about how the sector itself is coping this winter.
Community pharmacists are playing an active role in Worthing and Arun to support patients throughout this period, but the sector needs fair and proper funding to enable these new services to be delivered in the long term. Pharmacies also need help to manage the worsening medicines supply situation.
I have joined colleagues in writing an open letter to the government calling for a commitment to a fair, sustainable and fit-for-purpose funding strategy, to further enable pharmacists to hold 'walk-in' consultations for minor conditions and to build on other clinical service areas such as vaccinations, women’s health, and long-term conditions management.
Our pharmacies have such great potential to match the great work they are already undertaking in service to our communities. They know that they have my support, and constituents can have confidence that we continue to do all that is possible to campaign for greater provision of healthcare locally.