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BREAKING: Health committee will hold inquiry into community pharmacy


BREAKING: Health committee will hold inquiry into community pharmacy

By Neil Trainis


Exclusive: The health and social care select committee chair Steve Brine has told Independent Community Pharmacist it will hold an inquiry into community pharmacy later this year.

Brine did not set out a specific timeframe for when the inquiry will take place but said his Committee has put in place “a programme for 2023 which will include something on community pharmacy.” Sector leaders have called on the government to urgently give pharmacies fresh funding as many across the country struggle with rising costs. 

“My select committee will be pursuing an inquiry into community pharmacy shortly and scrutinising the imminent primary and emergency care strategy from the prime minister which is expected to heavily feature community pharmacy,” Brine said.

He added: “Members of the media will be informed when it begins in the usual way. We will, I am sure and as we did with others during the current integrated care systems inquiry, seek to involve genuine members of the pharmacy media at the appropriate time.”

The Committee this week also said it will hold an inquiry into the prevention of ill-health which could cover areas such as genomic sequencing, obesity and physical activity, smoking, alcohol and mental health. The Committee has set a deadline of February 8 for proposals for topics and community pharmacy is expected to heavily feature.

“Preventing ill-health offers the biggest opportunity for everyone to enjoy a better quality of life and I happen to think is the only way to keep our NHS sustainable as it’s plain logic to see what will happen if demand continues to out-pace supply at current levels,” Brine said.

“But what does prevention look like and how can we promote it? We’re inviting everyone - not just professionals working in the sector - to tell us which areas we should be focusing on – a rare offer from a select committee.

“We’re interested in how health can be impacted by wider factors, such as the impact of poor housing as a determinant of ill health. We’ll use our findings to set a challenge for the government to boost prevention as one of the top priorities. We intend to set a clear direction on what steps ministers must take now to achieve a new goal by the end of the decade.” 

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