Primary Health Care: Pharmacy

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 15 January 2024.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions she has had with representatives of (a) employed pharmacists and (b) locums on the implementation of the Pharmacy First service.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department has received representations from relevant stakeholders on the training of pharmacists and the community pharmacy workforce to deliver the Pharmacy First service.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has made an assessment of the potential impact of training of the community pharmacy workforce on people's ability to access the Pharmacy First services.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) recent progress has been made on the implementation of the Pharmacy First service and (b) steps have been taken to (i) prepare and (ii) train pharmacists and other pharmacy staff to deliver the agreed services under that framework.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The service proposals, competency requirements and funding arrangements for the Pharmacy First Service were co-developed and agreed with Community Pharmacy England (CPE), the body that has been formed by the sector and recognised by the Secretary of State as the representative for all pharmacy contractors in England.

The service will launch in early 2024 and over 90 percent of community pharmacies have now signed up to deliver the service. Community pharmacies are private businesses that provide National Health Service pharmaceutical services and is up to them to provide their staff with the necessary training.

A set-up fee will be paid to pharmacies that have signed up to recognise that pharmacy contractors must ensure that pharmacists and pharmacy staff providing the service are competent to do so, which may involve of training. CPE has developed a checklist for both pharmacy owners and pharmacists, including locums, to help them get ready for the service. Contractors are supported by additional resources provided by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education to ensure participating pharmacists are clinically competent to deliver these services safely.

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