To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care, published on 9 May 2023, what assessment his Department has made of the potential role of the pharmacy sector in helping patients to monitor (a) high blood pressure and (b) other long-term conditions at home.
On 9 May, as part of the Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care, we announced a further investment of up to £645 million over two years to expand the role of community pharmacy including the expansion of existing blood pressure services. This service offers a blood pressure cuff check, as well as ambulatory monitoring where appropriate. General practitioners can also refer their patients directly to the community pharmacy for ambulatory blood pressure measurements, supporting care closer to home and self-care. Pharmacists are experts on medicines and any prescription which is dispensed by a community pharmacist requires the pharmacy to provide to the patient information and advice including how to use the medicines safely. This includes products patients require to monitor their long-term conditions, for example blood glucose testing strips for diabetic patients and peak flow monitors for patients with asthma.