PSNC chief: We will work with government to ensure pharmacy plays key illness prevention role

PSNC chief executive Simon Dukes has said pharmacy’s negotiator is keen to work with the government to ensure community pharmacies play an integral role in its illness prevention agenda.

The health secretary Matt Hancock this week unveiled the government’s vision to prevent poor health and increase healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035 through the empowerment of people to take responsibility for their own health and closure of the gap between rich and poor.

The vision paid tribute to the work of the 10,000 community pharmacies registered as Healthy Living Pharmacies in England in preventing ill health and cited community pharmacies as effective ill-health prevention collaborators alongside general practice and community nurses, whether “in the same building or collaborating virtually.”

The PSNC picked up on remarks by Hancock in the House of Commons recently in which he said community pharmacies have a “hugely important role to play in keeping people out of hospital and in supporting GP surgeries by doing more” as reason to believe the government is serious about harnessing and developing community pharmacy.

That despite the government slashing community pharmacy’s budget by £320 million over two years.

“We agree with the Secretary of State that we must do more to support preventative healthcare. This should help both people to live longer, healthier lives, and the health service to manage the increasing demands being placed on it,” Dukes said.

“We were pleased to note the acknowledgement in this policy paper that local pharmacies can play a stronger role in helping people to stay well.

“We very much agree (that) community pharmacies are ideally placed to help people to stay healthy and avoid visits to hospital and look forward to working with HM government to make this shared vision a reality.”

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