The Government and PSNC must reach a negotiated settlement on the community pharmacy contractual framework, the All Party Pharmacy Group warned. Launching the report of its Inquiry into Primary and Community Care, the officers of the All Party Group said that an imposed contract would send unhelpful signals to the sector and risks hampering its development.
Sir Kevin Barron MP, Chair of the All Party Pharmacy Group said:
“Our inquiry found that there is a gulf between government and community pharmacy on their plans for the sector. Both sides, ultimately, want better care for patients. That is best achieved by agreeing a common way forward, saving us from an acrimonious contract imposition.
“Our report lays out some simple steps pharmacy can take towards achieving a vision of community pharmacy that I hope we all share. Pharmacies should invest in technology, professionalism and integration with the rest of primary care. Pharmacy can get on with many of these without a nod from the government, but we know as long as uncertainty hangs over the sector, we’ll see less investment in patient care. Only if both sides strike a deal can we avoid the dangerous distraction of contract imposition.”
Oliver Colvile MP, Vice Chair of the All Party Pharmacy Group said:
“As the Department of Health prepares its response to the community pharmacy consultation, our report will put pressure on the pharmacy negotiators and their colleagues in government to stay around the negotiating table.
“The Group believes in a clinically focused community pharmacy service. It seems obvious to us that such a service is built on clinical services in community pharmacies. Both sides should focus on developing the next generation of clinical services.”
The report reproduces responses to the Group’s call for evidence on Primary and Community Care, as well as summaries of four evidence sessions. The Officers of the Group offer a commentary on the evidence and make four recommendations, reproduced below.
The Government is expected to update Parliament in early July, following the consultation on the community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond. The All Party Group will continue to work with the Department of Health, NHS England and the community pharmacy bodies as the proposals develop.
Click here to read the report.