The All-Party Pharmacy Group has today launched an inquiry into the future of the pharmacy sector, including its involvement within the wider NHS, following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Results from the inquiry will help the body build a manifesto that will ‘be used by parliamentarians in their work with other policymakers on behalf of the sector’. 

The pharmacy sector and wider healthcare stakeholders are being encouraged to share their views on serval topics, including which additional services could be provided in community pharmacy settings - such as an increased range of vaccinations. 

They will also be looking into the current state of newer services such as Community Pharmacist Consultation Services (CPCS) and Discharge Medicines Service (DMS). 

The group has said respondents can also help by providing information on how they believe pharmacy can be better integrated into NHS care pathways.  

Questions will also be asked as to what pharmacy's role is in the delivery of primary care, as well as how pharmacy can be used to support patients with the management of their long-term conditions. 

The inquiry will also look into what else people think community pharmacies can do to support the prevention agenda, as outlined in the NHS long term plan. 

Pharmacy team members and stakeholders from all four nations are being asked to provide examples of pharmacy best practices and lessons to be learned.  

The APPG is inviting written evidence submissions until 1 November and will also hold oral evidence sessions.  

Commenting on the inquiry, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, chair of the APPG, said: ‘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.  

‘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.’ 

Check out Dr Dean Eggitt's piece on why it's time pharmacists and their teams are afforded the respect and parity they deserve.