How can you take action?
Politicians can take a range of actions to support the sector:
- Call for investment to build the public’s understanding that pharmacy and online resources should be a first port of call to reduce pressure on general practice.
- Back the national commissioning of services so that all pharmacies can offer NHS treatment for minor ailments; NHS flu vaccinations; and NHS emergency hormonal contraception treatment.
- Where there are no national services, ask healthcare commissioners to agree national standards and service specifications that can be rolled out locally where needed.
- Encourage Health and Wellbeing Boards to oversee partnership working of local commissioning to ensure they make the most of all that community pharmacy has to offer.
- Support sharing of patient information between GPs and pharmacies (with patient consent).
Individuals and pharmacy teams
Please pledge your support using the form opposite. We are seeking help from pharmacy teams to help us to talk to politicians about pharmacy to highlight the valuable roles that pharmacies can and do play to help local communities. This could involve writing to your local MP or councillors or hosting a visit for one of them to a pharmacy.
We have produced a toolkit to help pharmacies to do this. You can download a template letter to send to your MPs and a visit guide below.
MP visit guide
Template letter from pharmacists to MPs
Getting patients involved
It can really help to reinforce our efforts if MPs also receive letters and emails from their constituents who value the service they receive as patients in your pharmacy. Use the materials and any visits by the MP to talk to patients about our work with politicians, explain why we are asking MPs to support pharmacy and how they too can help to support their local pharmacy. If you have specific local issues or ideas on how pharmacy could do more then you could encourage them to raise the issue with their MP and if possible write to them.
You can download the template letter for patients to send to MPs. You may want to make this available to patients while they are waiting for prescriptions. You can then provide a box in the pharmacy for completed letters to be deposited so that you can send them, in bulk, to the local MP.
Alternatively, you can provide the email details, together with the template letter to your patients either through your website or other communications with patients.
Pharmacy organisations can pledge their support by clicking here; and by sharing our resources with members.
Local Pharmaceutical Committees may also be interested in helping to facilitate an MP visit in their local area. The above resources may be of interest and we have also drafted a specific template letter for LPCs to send to MPs.
Template letter from LPC Chief Officers to MPs
Following visits to local pharmacies, the template press release below can help get some press coverage of the event.
Template for MP Visit Press Release (please bear with us, this resource is in the process of being updated)