The chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board has responded to a decision by the High Court to uphold £320 million in government cuts to the pharmacy sector by promising members the continued support of the Society.
Judge Justice Collins handed down his judgment at the High Court on Thursday 18 May after challenges to the cuts were brought by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), the body representing independent pharmacies.
In a statement, Sandra Gidley, the board chair, said that the government is “not making the most of what community pharmacy has to offer. Without exception, reports on community pharmacy highlight the huge potential for improving care of patients with long-term conditions and supporting public health. As a matter of urgency after the general election the new government needs to respond to the recommendations of the Murray Review and take forward a positive plan for community pharmacy.”
A spokesperson for the RPS added that the Society “recognised the impact the judicial review would have on both pharmacists and patients”, and stressed the importance of effective relationships between national pharmacy bodies and the Department of Health. They said that the RPS “will continue to work with our members, NHS England, the Department of Health and all the pharmacy trade bodies to ensure patients and the public get the best possible care through community pharmacy.”
Highlighting the outcomes of previous Society campaigns, the spokesperson said that the RPS had “campaigned for pharmacists to have access to clinical information which has led to the investment in summary care record access by NHS England. Our call for a greater number of pharmacist prescribers, especially in community settings, has already been met by a General Pharmaceutical Committee consultation on removing barriers that allow pharmacist prescribers to train future prescribers.” Following the outcome of the judicial review, the Society will “build on these successes and continue to press for pharmacists to be included in the multidisciplinary team across the NHS.”