Local pharmacies are the solution to a world class NHS

Responding to NHS England plans to put more pharmacists in GP practices, the NPA has said that sustained investment in local pharmacies would be a far bigger stride towards creating a world class health service.

Among the plans in the General Practice Forward View, published yesterday (April 21), is a commitment to co-fund an extra 1,500 practice clinical pharmacists to work in GP surgeries.

NPA chairman, Ian Strachan, pointed out that there is already a highly qualified workforce in local pharmacies right across the country and a well established infrastructure for delivering care in those settings.

"Community pharmacies are a ready-made solution on the health service front line, close to where people live, work and shop. They are generally more accessible and convenient for patients than doctor surgeries.”

NHS chief Simon Stevens said the NHS would earmark an extra £2.4 billion a year for general practice services by 2020/21. In contrast, the Department of Health recently announced £170 million cuts to funding for pharmacies in England and has admitted that as many as 3,000 pharmacies could close.

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