In a letter expressing her support for the Sigma conference in Muscat, Oman, this week, Theresa May said the government wants to “build upon the innovative success of community pharmacy, encouraging further collaboration and partnership with the NHS”.
The government is “striving to effectively utilise the skill set and reach of community pharmacy”, as laid out in NHS England's long-term plan, Ms May said.
In the plan – published last month – NHS England said it would work with community pharmacists, voluntary sector partners and GPs to test patients for “high-risk conditions”, such as high blood pressure and raised cholesterol.
Ms May continued: “Through increased collaboration and partnership, we can develop a stronger role for community pharmacy, making sure we encourage more people to use local pharmacies.”
She also used her letter to thank community pharmacists for their “continued hard work and dedication, ensuring that patients can access the medicines and advice they need” and recognised the sector as a “vital part of the healthcare system”.
She praised the conference, organised by wholesalers Sigma, for providing “an excellent opportunity to highlight and celebrate the positive contributions and excellent services offered by the sector”.
The letter was read out to delegates by the event’s host, Pharmacists’ Defence Association director of public affairs Claire Ward, during the conference's opening session yesterday (February 17).
Read Ms May's letter in full here.
“A good thing”
Kiran Patel, a West Midlands contractor, said the Prime Minister’s recognition of the sector while she is “busy with Brexit” is a “good thing”.
However, he would like to see the sentiment “taken forward into some contractual negotiations”, and for pharmacists to be seen “more as solution providers”, he told C+D.
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