Actions for the new government’s first 100 days

Cross-party call for the next Government to start realising pharmacy’s potential in its first 100 days

MPs from all parties are today calling on the next Government to take a series of actions in its first 100 days after the election to unleash the potential of pharmacy to deliver more services, keep more people healthy and achieve better outcomes for patients.

The All-Party Pharmacy Group, chaired by the Rt. Hon Sir Kevin Barron MP, has published a five point plan which it wants to see implemented in the crucial early days after the general election: 

Consistent access to a wider range of health services from pharmacies

  • Including a national minor ailments service, a national flu immunisation service, and the extension of existing services (the Medicines Use Review and the New Medicine Service) that are currently restricted to certain conditions and medications.

Ensuring local commissioners make the best use of pharmacy in all communities 

  • Ensuring that the expertise of pharmacists is included in local decisions about which NHS services to commission so that patient outcomes are improved.
  • Developing a package of templates for new public health services available from pharmacies that will support people to live healthy lifestyles.

Enabling pharmacists to provide joined-up care alongside other health professionals and

  • Including shared access to patients' Summary Care Records and the development of care plans to support people as they are discharged form hospital and returning home

Decriminalising dispensing errors

  • Promoting a culture in which mistakes can be learned from and the risk of errors minimised by removing the anomaly that means pharmacists can be prosecuted for making a genuine mistake.

Safeguarding patient safety by making avoidable medicines shortages ‘never events’ 

  • Reducing the harm and distress caused to patients by shortages of prescription medicines through, for example, enforcing best practice protocols requiring everyone in the medicines supply chain - from manufacturers to pharmacies - to act in the interests of patients and the NHS at all times.

 

Sir Kevin Barron MP, Chair of the All-Party Pharmacy Group said:
More people visit pharmacies each day than any other part of the health service. Pharmacy teams are highly skilled and qualified, and they can provide a whole range of services that help patients manage their conditions effectively, as well as keep the wider public healthy through promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles. 
Yet despite this, the potential for pharmacies to be doing more has not yet been fully realised. There are some excellent new services but they are commissioned on a patchy basis - some people can access them, many cannot - it is a lottery.  This is no way to run a national health service.  Good, effective services should be available in all communities, to everyone who needs them.   The next Government has the opportunity to up the game.  By taking the steps we are proposing, patients and the wider public will benefit and we will see more efficient use of NHS resources.
In the coming days we'll be asking all the political parties whether they share our objective and support our plan."

Oliver Colvile MP, Vice Chair of the All Party Pharmacy Group, said:
“Over the last five years my colleagues and I in the All-Party Pharmacy Group have seen and heard at first hand just how much good work pharmacies are capable of. It is time for the NHS to get better at harnessing the expertise of pharmacy. Our First 100 Days Plan offers the next government - whatever its political make-up - the chance to drive that change we challenge it to put pharmacy on the fast track to delivering an expanded range of NHS services. It is not just what we in Parliament want to see, there has been a clear consensus among the other health professions and patient groups we've spoken with. 
Integration of services and more collaboration between pharmacies and other care services, particularly GPs, is crucial. Simple steps such as ensuring that patients' Care Record is shared with pharmacists could revolutionise patient care.  Ensuring that pharmacy expertise is factored into local commissioning decisions will result in precious NHS funds being spent in the way that benefits patients the most. The next Government must also quickly pass legislation to remove the shadow that has been over pharmacy for far too long of criminal sanctions for pharmacists who make an honest dispensing error in their daily work.  It doesn’t happen in any other profession, it shouldn't happen in pharmacy.  If we're going to improve the error reporting and learning culture it needs to be dealt with as an urgent priority.”

Notes to editors

  • Interviews available upon request
  • For further information please contact Jack Colson or Alex Burr, at the All Party Pharmacy Group Secretariat, on either 020 7618 9100 or appg@luther.co.uk

 

This is not an official website of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in these webpages are those of the group. The All-Party Pharmacy Group receives financial support from: Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and Pharmacy Voice (PV). Secretariat functions are provided by Luther Pendragon. A full list of Luther Pendragon’s clients can be found here