NPA chairman Ian Strachan today congratulated campaigners against cuts to pharmacy services, as the July 21 expected deadline for a government announcement passed with no official word.
Mr Strachan said: “We still don’t know for sure what may happen, whether in October or further into the future. What we can say for certain is that ministers and officials have been forced to think longer and harder about their plans as a result of the determined campaigning efforts of NPA members and many others in the sector, and patients too.
“It is too early to celebrate. But it’s not too early to thank and congratulate the people who have fought so hard up to this point to secure a sustainable future for local pharmacies.
“It’s now eight months since the Department of Health embarked on this damaging experiment and it is good that recklessness has been replaced by caution, for now. We now want to see fresh thinking and a willingness from government to get around the table with community pharmacists and patients to map out a better plan. With a new prime minister and a new pharmacy minister, the opportunity is there to put the past eight months behind us and start again, from sound, patient-focused principles.
“No news is not necessarily good news and we can’t be complacent. That is why the NPA is today launching a new online tool to help pharmacists and others re-engage with their constituency MPs during the long summer recess. The ‘Email Your MP’ tool makes it easy to communicate with your MP by email and social media, and is available via the supportyourlocalpharmacy.org website.”