NPA criticises "contradiction" in DH position

The NPA has criticised last night's announcement by pharmacy minister David Mowat of an urgent repeat medicines pilot scheme as a diversion from the Department of Health's decision on funding cuts.

Chairman Ian Strachan said of the announcement: "It highlights the flat contradiction at the heart of the Department’s position – asking pharmacies to develop new roles and services whilst stripping away the investment necessary to make it happen. Pharmacies cannot deliver these services if they have to cut back staff. They cannot deliver a service if they have been forced to close.

The scheme fell far short of a properly funded nationwide scheme that would have transformational benefits for patients and the NHS, said Mr Strachan. "It’s a smoke screen. I don’t sense any conviction in it."

“The government has now acknowledged the unique potential of community pharmacies in urgent care. Health Ministers should follow that logic and back pharmacies more fully to take pressure off stretched GPs and hospitals.”

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