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Lib Dems promise ‘fairer and sustainable long-term funding’ for pharmacy


Lib Dems promise ‘fairer and sustainable long-term funding’ for pharmacy

The Liberal Democrats today pledged to give pharmacy a “fairer and more sustainable long-term funding model” in its general election manifesto.

The party, who said it would make prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions free on the NHS, also promised to “build” on Pharmacy First and free up GPs “by giving more prescribing rights and public health advisory services” to pharmacists as well as nurse practitioners and paramedics.

The National Pharmacy Association chief executive Paul Rees described the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to supporting pharmacy as “excellent news” which he hoped “heralds a growing political consensus around the need to properly support pharmacies to deliver better, more local health care for millions.”

“Their promise to build on the Pharmacy First approach to give patients more accessible routine services and ease the pressure on GPs also points to cross party agreement that we need a stronger pharmacy network to support communities up and down the land,” Rees said.

“The stark fact is that pharmacies are facing a financial crisis and are closing at the rate of 10 a week so whoever forms the next government needs to invest in the network so people do not lose this fabulous local health service that represents the front door to our NHS.”

Insisting he “wholeheartedly” welcomed the Liberal Democrats’ proposals, the Company Chemists’ Association chief executive Malcolm Harrison said: “With a 30 per cent real-terms cut in core funding since 2015 and nearly 1,200 closures in that time, the current funding framework is untenable.

“Moreover, the party’s pledge to build on the Pharmacy First service is a no-brainer which will free up GP capacity and improve patient access. The manifesto also rightly talks about extending prescribing rights and public health advisory services to pharmacists. Independent prescribing is a generational opportunity which we must not waste.”



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