To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has held with representatives of the pharmacy sector on that sector's role in the next phase of the response to covid-19; and what recent assessment he has made of how pharmacies can support medicines safety and reduce avoidable hospital admissions.
Health Ministers, the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement have been in continued dialogue with representatives of the pharmacy sector throughout the pandemic. Discussions are now focused on what we can learn from the changes made, especially in primary care and the wider system, during the pandemic and which of those changes we might want to embed.
The Government’s ambition on using community pharmacy to support urgent care and medicine safety was set out in the five-year deal. We will continue to prioritise and negotiate the services outlined in that agreement with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee in the light of the additional demands placed on the health service by COVID-19.