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Day Lewis and Pharmacy2U attend Sunak NHS meeting

Pharmacy News

Day Lewis and Pharmacy2U attend Sunak NHS meeting

Day Lewis and Pharmacy2U were represented at a forum convened by prime minister Rishi Sunak last weekend to discuss urgent problems facing the health service.

The NHS Recovery Forum, which met at 10 Downing Street on Saturday January 7, was aimed at bringing together “clinical leaders, health experts and ministers” to discuss ways to improve performance and outcomes, with primary and emergency care among the key topics. 

Day Lewis executive director Jay Patel and Pharmacy2U chief operating officer Gary Dannatt both attended the meeting. It is unclear whether other pharmacy representatives attended.

Speaking to Sky News after the forum, Mr Patel said the prime minister was “very engaging” and wanted “to understand the key issues and the practical challenges on the ground”.

He said he had used the event to highlight the need for a funded Pharmacy First service in England that would see pharmacies paid for minor ailment consultations. 

Other opportunities identified by Mr Patel included the testing and management of urinary tract infections and of Strep A, although he stressed that funding concerns must be addressed.

“It boils down to money, and also to being funded for the right things,” he said. ”If we can get revenue to provide additional services that’s fine [but] in many case we’re providing clinical services but not being paid adequately for it.”

Mr Patel told Sky news that Day Lewis has “had a 30 per cent reduction in real terms funding over the last six years, which is causing a massive challenge”.

Posting on LinkedIn, Pharmacy2U chief operating officer Gary Dannatt said he had “very much enjoyed participating in the PM’s NHS recovery forum meetings,” going on to add: “Great to see that online pharmacy has a voice and an important role.”

Speaking after the event, PSNC chief Janet Morrison said a “small number of PSNC members” attended the event in their capacity as contractors, adding: “We were pleased to hear that community pharmacy was seen as integral to those discussions and that the forum heard about both the ambitions and the concerns of the sector.

“The Government does need to decide, and quickly, whether it wants to invest in community pharmacies who we know can do more to help patients and support wider healthcare pressures, or to face the disastrous consequences of continuing to degrade the sector and the critical services that it offers to millions of people every day.

“We hope the prime minister was convinced of the huge mistake it would be not to invest in community pharmacies at this critical time for the NHS and the public it serves.”

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