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MPs to examine role of pharmacy services in future NHS

8 June 2023

MPs are launching a new inquiry to examine the readiness of pharmacy services to capitalise on future opportunities as the way in which healthcare is delivered is changing.

The inquiry will also consider current challenges around funding, workforce and the digital infrastructure. Planned developments within the profession will enable future pharmacists to be independent prescribers from day one of registration, giving them a greater role within primary care teams.
The Committee will examine the status of pharmacy, focusing on community, primary care and hospital services and how they could best serve the future NHS.

Terms of Reference

The Committee invites written submissions addressing any, or all, of the following points. Evidence should be submitted by Thursday 6 July. Written evidence can be submitted here of no more than 3,000 words. 

  • What does the future of pharmacy look like and how can the Government ensure this is realised? 
  • What are the challenges in pharmacy workforce recruitment, training and retention, and how might these best be addressed? 
  • To what extent are digital systems used in pharmacy sufficiently interoperable with those in general practice and hospitals? 
  • What innovations could have the biggest impact on pharmacy services and why?  
  • To what extent are funding arrangements for community pharmacy fit for purpose? 
  • What factors cause medicine shortages and how might these be addressed in future? 
  • To what extent does community pharmacy have the resource and capacity to realise the ambitions in DHSC's Primary Care Recovery Plan? 
  • Are there the right number of community pharmacies in the right places, and how can we ensure that is the case across the country? 
  • To what extent are commissioning arrangements for community pharmacy fit for purpose?

Chair's comments

Health and Social Care Committee Chair Steve Brine MP said:

“It is clear that pharmacy has a central role to play in the future of the NHS. With a greater focus on personalised and patient-centred healthcare, we will be asking what more must be done to make sure that the profession is in the best shape to meet demand.

Better use of the pharmacy workforce would reduce pressures on general practice and hospitals. However, this will not happen without a planned workforce with the funding, supervision and training to support it.

At the end of our inquiry, we will be making recommendations to the government on what action needs to be taken to ensure the potential of pharmacy is realised.”

Further information

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