The Liberal Democrats have said their policy is to give pharmacists write access to patient’s medical records in advance of the general election, on 12 December 2019.
Responding to questions from The Pharmaceutical Journal, the political party said its policies include plans to train more pharmacists to become independent prescribers, with a focus on those working in under-doctored areas and parts of the country facing severe health inequalities.
The Liberal Democrats said they also supported developing medicines use reviews (MURs), particularly to focus on patients leaving hospital with a number of long-term conditions.
However, the community pharmacy contract, published in July 2019, stated that MURs will be phased out in community pharmacy between 2019 and 2021.
These policies are not included in the Liberal Democrats’ election manifesto, but the political party said in a statement: “We will involve pharmacists in multidisciplinary teams, supported by write access to health records, with appropriate safeguards”.
Policies that were published in the party’s manifesto in November 2019, include a commitment to providing free NHS prescription for patients with chronic mental health conditions, as well as reviewing the entire schedule of exemptions for prescription charges, if the party formed the next government.
The Pharmaceutical Journal posed pharmacy-related policy questions to all the major political parties, including questions on measures to tackle medicines shortages; plans to stop pharmacy closures; and how they would increase the role of community pharmacists in clinical services.
While the Labour Party did not provide answers to the questions, it sent a statement, which said the party “has always actively supported community pharmacies and opposed cuts to these services”.
“A Labour government will work with community pharmacies to ensure they are given the security they need,” it continued.
“Labour will properly invest to ensure better prevention and to help people manage their healthcare. And community pharmacy is absolutely vital to that.”
The Conservative Party did not provide answers to the questions.