Community Pharmacy in 2016-17 and Beyond

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:31 am on 20th October 2016.

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Photo of David Mowat David Mowat The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 11:31 am, 20th October 2016

Frankly, a lot of that was scaremongering, which does not help what we are doing here and does not help with some of the difficult decisions we have had to make. Those difficult decisions are directed at modernising the service, bringing it up to date, making it much more dynamic in terms of added value and less static in terms of dispensing and all that goes with that.

I will answer some of the specific points that were made. There is a full impact assessment and it will be released immediately after the statement.

The hon. Lady asked about the PwC report. I have said on the record on a number of occasions that the report is an excellent piece of work. It does drive home yet again the value of community pharmacies, which we on the Conservatives Benches and in the Government accept. What it does not address is the extent to which those services could be delivered for less cost to the NHS. That is what I have to address and that is what we have done.

The hon. Lady asked whether NHS England supports the changes we are making. She might have heard the comments made by Simon Stevens, but I will read out, in answer to her question, a quote from the chief pharmaceutical officer of NHS England:

“NHS England, as the national commissioner of community pharmacy services in England, can reassure the public that the efficiencies which are being asked of community pharmacy will be manageable and there is sufficient funding to ensure there are accessible and convenient NHS pharmacy services in every community in England.”