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Pharmacy London: We can only advise contractors on contraception


Pharmacy London: We can only advise contractors on contraception

By Neil Trainis

Pharmacy London chair Ray Matharu has said a letter it sent to nearly 1,500 pharmacy members recommending they do not provide the contraception service until government funding improves was designed to help contractors make an “informed” decision rather than tell them what to do.

Matharu told Independent Community Pharmacist his organisation wanted to provide its pharmacies with “an assessment” of the situation following the service’s launch on April 24, based on its talks with the PSNC and its regional representatives as well as the LPC’s discussions with its committee and feedback from contractors.

Although Pharmacy London said in its letter that its Board “recommends contractors do not sign up for the service until” it is “funded adequately to ensure it can be delivered safely to women,” Matharu said it wanted “to make sure contractors make an informed decision about providing safe primary care pharmacy services.”

“Pharmacy London provides a forum for all pharmacy stakeholders, all pharmacy organisations, NHSE-London region, HEE, RPS, GPhC and pharma companies, to consider and advance community pharmacy primary care services in London.

“We can only advise our contractors on the current community pharmacy commissioning landscape, ultimately it is up to the contractor to make the decision.”

Matharu added: “The statement was to advise the contractors on the current refusal of DHSC and NHSE to listen to the concerns of community pharmacy contractors regarding the primary care pharmacy services.

“This has a direct impact on work pressures experienced by pharmacists, only this morning we were discussing the funding and supply chain issues and the impact on patient safety with the GPhC.”

When asked if Pharmacy London had failed to get North-East London LPC to commit to its plan, Matharu said: “It was NEL LPC's decision to withdraw from Pharmacy London many years ago and you would have to ask them on their position and why it is not aligned with the position statements of the PSNC, AIMp, CCA, NPA and other LPCs.”

NEL LPC CEO Shilpa Shah told ICP it will hold a meeting “in a couple of weeks” to discuss “what comms” it will share with contractors.

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