29th June 2017

Anne Main MP has called on the government to better integrate pharmacies into the health service in order to get the most out of the NHS. 

Speaking on the topic of health during the debate on the Queen’s speech, Mrs Main said that, ‘There is an argument that pharmacies should be encouraged to do more and not just be paid for the number of prescriptions they dispense.’

Last year, following government proposals to reform the way pharmacies are paid, the St Albans MP raised concerns over smaller pharmacies, claiming that any changes must not ‘extinguish the light’ of the independent community pharmacy.

In January this year, following a series of meetings with local pharmacists, the St Albans MP led a debate in parliament in which she argued that,

‘In an ever-changing world, we have a duty continuously to challenge the old models of health delivery systems […] We all accept that the NHS is labouring under huge financial pressures, so any areas in which precious resources are dissipated due to inefficiencies or duplications ought to be considered. It is important to integrate community pharmacies into the NHS urgent care system and GP services. We need to promote a pharmacy-first culture for minor ailments to take pressure off frontline services.’

Yesterday, Mrs Main reiterated that, ‘we need to bring different services together’ and that she was ‘absolutely certain that pharmacies can play a part in the seamless transition I have mentioned by providing not only drugs and other forms of care but a listening service.’  Anne added that she wanted ‘pharmacies to do much more and for them to be encouraged to integrate more with other aspects of social and GP-led care in areas such as mine, where the National Pharmacy Association [NPA] has its headquarters.’

‘I believe that visionary approaches can be taken, using current resources, to ensure that we get the most out of our national health services.’

After the debate Anne confirmed that she was currently arranging a meeting with the NPA to gauge how best to move forward with a more integrated service.


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