Department of Health written question – answered on 26th February 2016.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee, Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will carry out an assessment of the effect of changes in funding for community pharmacies on patient safety.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Minister of State, Department of Health

The community pharmacy proposals for 2016/17 and beyond, on which we are consulting, are being considered in respect to the public sector equality duty, the family test and relevant duties of the Secretary of State under the National Health Service Act 2006. The latter includes the duty as to improvement in quality of services, such as the safety of services.

At this stage we would note that all pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies are regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council, which protects, promotes and maintains the health, safety and wellbeing of members of the public by upholding standards and public trust in pharmacy. Also, under NHS pharmaceutical services, community pharmacies are required to meet clinical governance requirements, which encourage continuing quality improvement, including through risk management.

An impact assessment will be completed to inform final decisions and published in due course.

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