New government pledges to ‘unleash the potential’ of community pharmacy

Newly elected Conservative Party government plans to ‘unleash the potential’ of community pharmacies become a first port of call for the treatment of minor illnesses.

Speaking to the Policy Exchange think tank on December 18, 2019, in his first speech since being reappointed health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock said more than 10,000 pharmacies are already accepting referrals from other parts of the NHS and he wants that number to grow over the next five years.

He is believed to have referred to the community pharmacist referral service, which launched on October 29, 2019. The service is currently taking referrals from NHS 111, and there are plans to extend it to GPs, treatment centers emergency rooms and possibly hospital emergency departments.

“We’re going to… unleash the potential of our pharmacies, because they’re really capable of doing so much more,” Hancock said.

The expanded role of community pharmacies reflects the government’s commitment to preventative health – one of the NHS’s four priorities, alongside technology, people and infrastructure, he added.

Hancock also promised the focus would be on vaccinating against preventable diseases, stopping smoking, reducing obesity and integrating a “more proactive, predictive and personalized approach across the NHS”. .

He promised that each of the new government’s four health care priorities would apply “to all parts of the system: pharmacies, primary care, community care, mental health, hospitals and social services as well.”

The government also said in the Queen’s Speech that it would enshrine in law a multi-year funding agreement for the NHS.

The speech, which sets out his priorities for next year in parliament, was delivered on December 19, 2019. He also pledged the creation of a new fast-track visa designed to attract nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals. qualified foreign health in the NHS.

A government promise, included in the speech, to make “changes to business tariffs” was welcomed by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

Gareth Jones, head of general affairs at the NPA, said in a statement: ‘The current tax regime treats pharmacies differently to doctors and dentists, who both receive reimbursement from the NHS for the professional fees they pay.

“Pharmacies, whose main business is to provide NHS services, are penalized for being at the heart of communities where they are most needed.”

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