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Over 90pc of pharmacies in England signed up for Pharmacy First

Pharmacy News

Over 90pc of pharmacies in England signed up for Pharmacy First

Over 90 percent of community pharmacies in England have signed up to deliver the Pharmacy First service, the pharmacy minister Andrea Leadsom said on 15 January in response to parliamentary questions put by Labour MP Rachel Maskell.

Ms Maskell, MP for York Central and vice chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, asked what recent progress had been made on implementing the service, and what steps had been taken to prepare and train pharmacists and pharmacy staff to deliver it.

“The service will launch in early 2024 and over 90 per cent of community pharmacies have now signed up to deliver the service,” the minister confirmed, adding: “Community pharmacies are private businesses … and is up to them to provide their staff with the necessary training.”

Community Pharmacy England is currently seeking the views of pharmacy owners on their preparations for Pharmacy First, ahead of the next full CPE committee meeting at the end of January.

The service is due to launch against a backdrop of consolidations and closures across the sector.  A survey of 980 pharmacy workers, carried out as part of an ITV Tonight documentary that aired on January 11, found that 48 per cent “do not feel confident they can provide the new services”.

National Pharmacy Association chair Nick Kaye has said he is confident independent pharmacists across England have the clinical capabilities to provide Pharmacy First but warned the daily pressures of running their pharmacies could hinder their roll-out of the new service.

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