NPA chairman Ian Strachan derided a Department of Health briefing document about proposed efficiencies for community pharmacy as "nonsense".
Mr Strachan said: “There is a flat and glaring contradiction in the Department of Health’s position: it calls for community pharmacy to be at the heart of the NHS, then tells us how it plans to wrench the heart out of the sector. It’s appalling for pharmacy, appalling for patients and appalling for the NHS. That’s as clear as day to me. Maybe the view is different from an ivory tower."
Mr Strachan called for independent community pharmacists to stand together and fight the proposals. “The document refers to ‘clinical pharmacists’ in GP practices, in care homes and at the end of a phone line. Never once does it acknowledge that there is any clinical capability in the community pharmacy setting. That is a slur, and I am personally offended by this unfavourable comparison"
The DH describes the document, in the form of a slide set, as “our vision for community pharmacy, and outline proposals for achieving that vision” and invites comments from stakeholders by February 12. The consultation process is due to end on March 24.