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RPS publishes manifesto to influence MPs ahead of general election


RPS publishes manifesto to influence MPs ahead of general election

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published its general election manifesto containing seven “key” points which it believes pharmacy teams and those who support them should be canvassing their local MPs on in the run-up to July 4.

The RPS said the health service had entered “a critical time” and warned the next government will face “some key challenges to support patients and the NHS in 2024 and beyond.”

The seven areas it outlined in its manifesto include securing patient access to medicines, supporting a better-connected NHS, improving accessible prescribing in local communities, maximising health improvement through locally accessible pharmacy teams, supporting them to deliver patient care, unlocking the potential of new advances in medicines and supporting the UK’s global position in science and research.

On ensuring patients can access medicines, the RPS again called for prescription charges in England to be scrapped and the UK medicines supply chain to be reviewed.

It called for IT infrastructure to be funded to allow all health professionals to access and update patients’ records and for “further development” of pharmacist prescribing services so patients can receive care closer to their homes.

The RPS also said legislation on supervision in community pharmacies must be passed to allow pharmacists to deliver more clinical services and insisted investment should go towards the education, training and development of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy students, it said, should be able to access the NHS Learning Support Fund which offers healthcare students a training grant of £5,000 per academic year. It is not open to pharmacy students.

“With the health service under continued strain, pharmacists and their teams are working incredibly hard to maintain patient access to care amid workforce challenges, medicines shortages and financial pressures,” said RPS president Claire Anderson.

“But there are also opportunities, including the growing number of pharmacist prescribers, expanding clinical trials, delivering care closer to home, and making the most of new advances in medicines.  

“The future of our health service is a key election issue, and I would urge members to engage with local candidates, so pharmacy continues to be part of the debate.”

The RPS manifesto is part of the wider #VotePharmacy Manifesto which is supported by Community Pharmacy England, Company Chemists' Association, National Pharmacy Association and RPS.

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