RPS England board chair Sandra Gidley

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has welcomed Theresa May’s promise of £20 billion in additional funding for the NHS, but said some of this money must be used to help pharmacy support “the best use of medicines”.

The prime minister announced in a recent BBC interview that the £114 billion NHS budget would rise by an average of 3.4 per cent every year for the next five years. While Mrs May did not spell out how this would be funded, she suggested that it would be partly financed through the hotly debated “Brexit dividend” in addition to tax increases.

RPS England Board chair Sandra Gidley said that while the funding “is obviously good news for the NHS,” the Society’s members “continue to face a very challenging environment while striving to deliver high quality care for their patients day in, day out.”

Ms Gidley said that some of the funding must go towards developing “the use of the clinical skills of pharmacists to provide better outcomes for patients and better value for the NHS.”

She added: “As extra funding goes into the NHS it is important that the value pharmacists bring to improving patient care 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.”

Ms Gidley said the Society planned to write to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 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.”

Originally Published by Pharmacy Magazine

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