Our Pharmacies stepped up when we needed them the most. For so many of us they are the front door to the NHS. And with so many people struggling to get GP appointments we should make better use of these medical professionals and reward them for what they do.
When I was Chairman of the All Party group on pharmacy I was pleased to chair an enquiry to see just how we could give support to our pharmacists and recognise their contribution to the nation’s health.
We found that pharmacists undertake 65m informal consultations each year saving GPs 32m appointments.
And they can do more. 40m minor ailment appointments cost £1.2bn to GPs. By transferring these to Pharmacy it would cost £560m – a 53% saving to the NHS.
For too long Pharmacy has been an afterthought to the NHS. We need to be ambitious in realising their potential. Greater freedom to prescribe and undertake basic healthchecks can free up considerable capacity within our NHS. It is frankly a no brainer.
But they must be rewarded for what they do. And our NHS must make sure they get their fair share for what they do