Pharmacists are being encouraged to talk to their MPs as pharmacy bodies ramp up their political engagement.
The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has said it wants every newly elected MP to have been invited to visit an independent community pharmacy in their constituency before October 2017, and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) will encourage Local Pharmaceutical Committees to make contact with local new MPs.
NPA chair, Ian Strachan, said the goal was to build on the success of the Support Your Local Pharmacy campaign, which was backed by the NPA and the PSNC, as well as the Company Chemists’ Association and the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, and which achieved an “unprecedented” level of active political support during the previous Parliament.
“It is no coincidence that all the main UK-wide political parties included pledges about community pharmacy in their general election manifestos,” he said.
“That level of engagement needs to be the new normal, because the politicians must now make good on the promises they have made to the electorate about supporting pharmacies. We need to build a coalition behind a positive agenda for service development, properly funded and endorsed at the highest levels of government.
“The contact with MPs must come locally — ideally from pharmacy owner to MP — and the relationships built constituency by constituency.”
The NPA will give bespoke support to any pharmacist hosting an MP in their pharmacy. Pharmacy owners are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.