Pharmacy Minister thanks NPA members and urges local cooperation on COVID vaccines

13 Nov 2020

Pharmacy Minister Jo Churchill MP has praised pharmacy teams for their “outstanding” work during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Speaking via video to the National Pharmacy Association’s winter conference, she also confirmed that additional costs incurred as a result of COVID-19 are being actively discussed with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC). She added that she is “carefully considering” other representations on how to “further support” community pharmacy.

Acknowledging that implementation of new pharmacy services has been delayed due to the pandemic, the Minister said her department has re-prioritised pharmacy services that support the NHS in its fight against COVID-19. She pointed in particular to GP referrals into the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service and the Discharge Medicines Service, which will be introduced in January.

She thanked pharmacy teams for “performing an incredible job on the frontline during these unprecedented times”.

“I recognise the outstanding contribution pharmacy teams have made in really challenging circumstances,” she said.

Noting that not all pharmacies will be directly commissioned to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations, she urged contractors to talk to pharmacy Primary Care Network leads, “so that GPs and community pharmacists can team up for the vaccination programme.”

NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette, said:

“It is good to have Jo Churchill at an NPA conference, which follows Matt Hancock’s appearance at our earlier event. The entire ministerial team at DHSC, including the Health Secretary, have a genuine regard for our sector and this is the foundation upon which we continue to press for meaningful action on funding. Substantial additional resources are needed urgently, to keep vital pharmacy services going.”

The NPA’s online winter conference focused on business resilience as its overarching theme. All conference sessions, including Jo Churchill’s full video message can be viewed here: