A selection of questions the NPA have asked to politicians and senior pharmacy stakeholders.
On the 15th June 2017, Helga Mangion, the NPA policy manager, asked Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, a question at the NHS Confederation Conference. Helga asked Mr Hunt to engage with the community pharmacy sector in order to meet the Government’s manifesto pledge to help pharmacies keep people well in the community and out of hospitals. The question can be viewed below:
Helga Mangion, NPA policy manager: Will you engage personally with the front line community pharmacists represented by the National Pharmacy Association, to discuss how to implement your Manifesto pledge to help pharmacies keep people well in the community and out of hospitals?”
Jeremy Hunt, health secretary: I recognise that it has been a difficult period for the pharmacy sector. We have asked you to make savings just as we have asked every other part of the NHS and social care system to make efficiency savings but let’s be clear this is not about seeing a smaller role for pharmacy but seeing a different and bigger role for pharmacy. So one of the things that is starting to happen is that pharmacists have access to electronic health records, seeing people’s summary care records and enable to use the advice that a clinically trained pharmacist is able to give which is fantastically useful in terms of keeping people away from a & e departments. We are moving towards apps as an alternative or 111app people can use instead of calling 111, which will much more quickly and effectively direct people who need to, to go to their local pharmacy. I think we want a closer relationship with pharmacists but it is a different relationship. I feel that we have not exploited the tremendous skills that pharmacists have nearly as effective as we might, but I am more than happy to engage with you more personally.