The All Party Pharmacy Group has today opened an inquiry into the future of community pharmacy following the Covid pandemic as it tries to gather information to create a blueprint for the sector in the coming years.
The inquiry seeks views on a range of topics from across primary care, including pharmacy teams as well as membership organisations, professional bodies, healthcare charities, patient groups and other stakeholders within healthcare.
The APPG said it wanted input on topics such as how pharmacy can be best employed to deliver primary care services, the role it plays in preventing illness, how it can support people with long-term conditions and the way in which pharmacies can be better integrated into NHS pathways.
The inquiry will examine how the community pharmacist consultation service and discharge medicines service can be maximised and how independent prescribers can be used to improve outcomes for patients.
There will also be a focus on further clinical services that could be provided through community pharmacy, including expanding the range of vaccinations currently administered in pharmacies.
The APPG is inviting written evidence submissions until November 1 and will hold oral evidence sessions and the published manifesto resulting from the inquiry will “be used by parliamentarians in their work with other policymakers on behalf of the sector".
“We know that pharmacy teams are incredibly valuable to both the communities they serve and the wider NHS, and this has been made all the more obvious by the way they have responded to the pandemic,” said APPG chair Jackie Doyle-Price.
“Pharmacy has proven itself an integral part of the NHS family and has shown how much more it could do if given the right support. As we look beyond Covid-19, we are seeking views on what the future of pharmacy looks like and how pharmacy could be better integrated with the wider NHS.”