The CCA issued the following statement in response to the Health and Social Care Secretary outlining announcing the Government’s plan for patients this winter and next, including proposals for pharmacies to manage and supply more medicines including contraception without a GP prescription, and take more referrals from emergency care for minor ailments:
“We welcome the ambition of the Health and Social Care Secretary’s new plan and agree that it is a positive step forward which should ease GP pressures. We fully support the policy direction for pharmacies and pharmacists to be enabled to do more to support the health system.
However, we are concerned that the current financial pressures, and the chronic shortage of pharmacists available to work in community pharmacy, could limit the sector’s ability to fully support the Secretary of State’s ambitions at this time.
We urge the NHS to undertake a system wide review of the pharmacy workforce, and how community pharmacies are funded, to ensure that patients can access care when and where they need it the most.
Community pharmacies pride themselves on their ability to provide accessible care, medicines and advice. We are keen to ease pressures on GP practices this winter and beyond. This new plan must be underpinned by the financial and workforce support that it needs if it is to succeed”.