MLAs re-establish All-Party Group to continue dialogue with NI’s community pharmacy sector

Cooperation between Northern Ireland’s elected representatives and the community pharmacy network will continue in the new Northern Ireland Assembly term following the re-establishment of the All-Party Group on Community Pharmacy.

The Group, first established in February 2021, will remain as the leading forum for the sharing of ideas, issues, and policy solutions after being formally re-established for the next five years.

Attended by representatives from each of Northern Ireland’s main political parties, the   secretariat and Community Pharmacy NI, it will meet on a regular basis to discuss the role of community pharmacy within Northern Ireland’s communities, primary care system, and the wider health service for the next five-years.

Chair of the All-Party Group on Community Pharmacy, Pam Cameron MLA said:

“I feel privileged to be returned as Chairperson of the All-Party Group on Community Pharmacy. Through the Group, we’ve been able to foster a collaborative working among Assembly colleagues to make progress in a whole range of areas facing patients, the sector and the NHS.

“We know that during this Assembly mandate important decisions will have to be made to future-proof our health service and ensure it runs effectively and sustainably. Community pharmacy will have a pivotal role to play in this, and through the All-Party Group, I look forward to playing a role in driving forward fresh ideas that maximise the network’s potential.”

Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy NI, Gerard Greene said:

“Re-establishing the Assembly’s All-Party Group has been a major priority for us in the past number of months. As we have seen since its inception, the Group is a vital platform for members of the community pharmacy workforce to highlight the current state of play on the ground to MLAs and identify where improvements can be made.

As well as consolidating good working relations, the Group shone a spotlight on some of the key services community pharmacy introduced during the pandemic, including COVID-19 vaccinations and the Emergency Supply Service.

“I look forward to working with the members and progressing policy solutions to address workforce pressures, implementing the commissioning plan for community pharmacy, and identifying ways to integrate the sector in the Department of Health’s transformation agenda.”

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