Two new Conservative MPs have been appointed to the Parliamentary All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) to fill the vacancy left by Oliver Colvile, former Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton & Devonport, who lost his seat in the general election.
Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, becomes the group’s new secretary, while Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay, will take up one of the three vice-chair positions.
During a Westminster Hall debate last year Sturdy argued against the government’s proposed cuts to pharmacy services, saying that they “would not just stop the important services that [my] constituents and many others get from rural pharmacies; it would also deeply impact on skills and skills going back into the services that we have to protect”
Despite this, both Sturdy and Double voted in favour of cuts to pharmacy services across England following a parliamentary debate on the issue last autumn.
According to TheyWorkForYou, a UK charity that records the contributions made by MPs to parliamentary debates, Sturdy has consistently voted in favour of reforming the NHS to allow GPs to buy services on behalf of their patients. He has also voted against restricting the provision of services to private patients by the NHS.
Double recently voted against the Labour Party’s proposal to bring to an end the government’s public sector pay cap.
The APPG is made up of a cross section of MPs with an interest in pharmacy. In April it recommended that all community pharmacists should be given the opportunity to become prescribers by 2022 to relieve pressure on GPs.
Following an investigation into the impact of the government’s NHS reforms, the group also suggested that community pharmacists should be encouraged to open minor ailment services.