The PSNC was warned pharmacy minister Maria Caulfield of the “very serious pressures” on pharmacies due to the ongoing funding squeeze.
The negotiator met with the health minister last week to discuss the “ongoing challenges facing the sector as well as future opportunities for pharmacy businesses”.
As well as funding pressures, the PSNC raised issues around capacity and workforce, and discussed “the changing nature of advice and support” needed by patients who access pharmacies and how pharmacies can “do more to support people with minor ailments”.
During the meeting, Ms Caulfield asked PSNC representatives “to convey her thanks to all pharmacies for the work done by the sector through the Covid-10 pandemic,” and said that patients – including her constituents – had appreciated these efforts.
PSNC director of communications Zoe Long commented: “It was great to hear the minister talking so positively about the role pharmacies have played during the pandemic and how much people, including her own constituents, have relied on them.
“We were also pleased to hear that while Government has ambitions to create more opportunities for pharmacies, they remain conscious of the pressures the sector is facing.
“PSNC is really concerned about the distress that many pharmacy contractors and their teams are experiencing, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the minister to support community pharmacies as they continue to help patients and the NHS.”
The introductory meeting between Ms Caulfield and the PSNC leadership team followed the minister’s recent visit to SG Barai Pharmacy in Sutton, where she received her flu jab.