Labour accuses government of not supporting pharmacy services
Shadow Health Minister Karin Smyth (Bristol South) took a swipe at the government’s record on supporting pharmacy services during questions on Health and Social Care on July 11.
“People across the country rely on local, accessible pharmacies, but whether it is high street closures or supply problems leading to the absurd situation where women are phoning or visiting multiple pharmacies for a prescribed dose of hormone replacement therapy and other drugs, the government are again letting people down,” she said.
“They have repeatedly announced plans to expand the role of community pharmacies, but have failed to update legislation that could possibly help. Why will they not do so?”
In a robust response, Neil O’Brien, the Under-Secretary of State for Primary Care and Public Health, said: “There are more pharmacies in England than there were in 2010. There are 24,000 more pharmacists in England than there were in 2010 and we are putting in £645 million to provide services that were not there when Labour was in office. We are very happy to take lessons from the pharmacy sector, but not from the Labour party.”
Mr O’Brien had earlier explained that at the end of June the government had laid a statutory instrument before the House to improve the efficiency of dispensing “so that pharmacists can spend more time using their skills to provide high-end clinical services and less time snipping blister packs”.