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Free scripts and full record access in pharmacy’s election manifesto

NPA, PSNC and RPS: Everyone should have access to treatments from their local pharmacy
NPA, PSNC and RPS: Everyone should have access to treatments from their local pharmacy

Pharmacy bodies are calling on the next government to consider scrapping prescription charges in England and granting pharmacists full access to patient care records.

Commissioning more national pharmacy services, such as minor ailments and smoking cessation, as well as expanding the number of vaccinations available from pharmacies, would “make access to NHS care more convenient”, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have said.

In a shared manifesto for community pharmacy published yesterday (November 18), the pharmacy bodies urge political parties to consider the sector “as a valuable health and wellbeing asset and a solution to many longstanding problems in the NHS”.

In their manifesto, the bodies call on election candidates to remove the prescription charge in England, in line with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, “so everyone has access to treatments they need from their local pharmacy”.

“Diverting millions of consultations to pharmacies” will help relieve pressure on GPs and hospitals, the manifesto states.

However, “pharmacies need to have full access to patient care records, with the patient’s consent”, to achieve this.

“The NHS health check should be available from all pharmacies,” it added.

Read what else the pharmacy bodies are calling for on the ‘Vote Pharmacy’ website.

Invite prospective MPs to your pharmacy

The NPA, PSNC and RPS will be “actively promoting” their shared manifesto in the lead-up to the general election on December 12, using the #VotePharmacy hashtag, they said.

They have also called on pharmacy teams to invite their local parliamentary candidates to visit their branches and pledge their support for community pharmacies.

“Our message is clear: with the right support and investment from the next government, community pharmacies can deliver even greater benefits for patients and the NHS,” they said.

The Labour party has pledged to scrap prescription charges in England, should it win the next general election, while the Conservative party has pledged to recruit 6,000 more pharmacists, nurses and physiotherapists to work in GP surgeries by 2025.

What do you make of the pharmacy manifesto?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I've been thinking about this for a while now, what skills do pharmacists learn to diagnose? It seems like it is an important piece of knowledge that would really assist the profession to grow, particularly when aspects like IP are concerned.

A.S. Singh, Community pharmacist

Dear Editor

Could we have an unbiased fact check on how the two main parties will effect pharmacy? From what I know so far the conservative government will continue the austerity in our main sector.

Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Policies cungered up by people who don't work in pharmacy

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! .. wait, what? You're serious?!

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