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RPS manifesto outlines key pharmacy priorities ahead of upcoming UK general election

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is calling on pharmacists across the UK to engage with their MPs and local prospective parliamentary candidates to help ensure pharmacy is part of health service debates ahead of the next general election.

It has developed a pledge, entitled ‘Pharmacy Matters’, asking prospective candidates to sign a ‘prescription for the nation’s health’, which forms part of the Society’s wider general election manifesto.

If elected, the candidates who sign the pledge would campaign to build on pharmacist prescribing services, review prescription charges in England and strengthen the UK’s medicines supply chain.

The manifesto outlines key priorities to support pharmacists’ contribution to patient care and the NHS, which relate to the issues the RPS considers to be the biggest challenges facing pharmacy in the UK.

These include securing patient access to medicines through a review of the UK’s medicines supply chain, supporting a better-connected NHS to promote integrated and safer care, investing in workforce education, training and development, and unlocking the potential of new advances in medicines through clinical trials and personalised medicines.

The RPS has said the manifesto comes at a ‘critical time’ for the NHS, ‘with a focus on patient safety, recurring medicines shortages, advances in technology and growing pressures on the workforce’.

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Professor Claire Anderson, RPS president, said that alongside challenges, the Government would also be faced with opportunities to support patients, ‘including growing the number of pharmacist prescribers, delivering care closer to home and making the most of new advances such as pharmacogenomics’.

She added: ‘The future of our health service will be a key issue at the next election and I would encourage members to engage with their local candidates to help pharmacy be a part of that debate.’

Further detail in the manifesto, included calls for prescription charges in England to be scrapped, for a chief pharmacist role to be ring-fenced in every integrated care system and for the funding of IT infrastructure to enable all health professionals to access and update a patient’s record.

And it asked general election candidates to support the passing of ‘long-awaited’ supervision legislation, which is currently open for a public consultation.

To support its manifesto, the RPS has published graphics highlighting the top pharmacy issues ahead of the general election, which can be shared on social media alongside the hashtag #VotePharmacy.

The cross-party Health and Social Care Committee has said that it will be considering many of the points raised by the RPS manifesto as part of its ongoing pharmacy inquiry.






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