Following Theresa May's announcement that the NHS budget is to be increased by £20bn over the next five years, Royal Pharmaceutical Society's England Board chair, Sandra Gidley, said the Society will be writing to the Health Secretary to highlight pharmacy's underused potential.

"This extra funding is obviously good news for the NHS. However, our members continue to face a very challenging environment while striving to deliver high quality care for their patients day in, day out," she said.

"More than ever the NHS must make best use of every pound spent.  This must include reviewing the skill mix available in every setting to increase the use of the clinical skills of pharmacists to provide better outcomes for patients and better value for the NHS. As extra funding goes into the NHS it is important that the value pharmacists bring to improving patient care and safety is recognised more widely and funding is used to accelerate their increasing role in supporting the best use of medicines.

"The extra funding must be used to transform the way patients are supported to use medicines in England if we are to improve outcomes and protect the future of the NHS.

"We will be writing to Jeremy Hunt to make sure he is fully aware of what pharmacy can offer when decisions are made about where to spend this new investment."

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