The government should be providing guidance to Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) about the vital role community pharmacy can play in primary care, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has said.

It comes after health minister Steve Brine, spoke in parliament about the importance of community pharmacies being fully deployed in primary care.

He was asked by Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay, during Health and Social Care Questions about “addressing GP pressure by enhancing the role of community pharmacies”.

The health minister responded by saying: “We know there are benefits to be had from better integrating pharmacists with STPs.

“So through the pharmacy integration fund we are integrating pharmacists into primary care and I’ve heard very good reports’ about how that’s going. We will have 2000 of them in general practice by 2020.

“Community pharmacies themselves should be integrated through STPs because it is one NHS.”

Gareth Jones, head of corporate affairs at the NPA said: “Pharmacies are too often overlooked by STPs. The NPA calls on Government to provide guidance to STPs on the vital role we play within primary care - and the fantastic insight we can provide in the design of local health services that are fit for the future.

“For our part, we will continue to engage with any enlightened STP and Clinical Commissioning Group that fully recognises the clinical and cost benefits of integrating community pharmacy into their plans.”

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