Community pharmacy has been “treated in a very shoddy manner by the last government”, Labour MP Kevin Barron told the House of Commons during the Queen’s Speech debate on 28 June 2017.
Barron chairs the All-Party Pharmacy Group, which launched an investigation into the government’s community pharmacy reforms in January. In his comments Barron referenced the report subsequently produced by the group, which claims that reforms have “dented confidence in the sector, and raised questions about the government’s commitment to developing community pharmacy services.”
He continued: “Community pharmacy remains well-placed to address some of the NHS’s biggest challenges”. He said the priority now is for the sector and the government to “come together to develop and realise a shared vision of clinical services in community pharmacy”.
The 2012 Health and Social Care Act, Barron told the House, confers responsibility on the UK government to reduce health inequalities and promote public health. “Running down community pharmacies”, he concluded, “is not the way to do that.”
During the Queen’s Speech debate Barron also voiced support for vaping as a means of smoking cessation, saying that e-cigarettes are “95% safer” than tobacco. “[Vaping is] not a way to get into cigarettes,” he claimed, quoting a figure of 2.8 million existing smokers who have voluntarily taken up vaping as an alternative.