The deputy mayor of Bristol has praised an independent pharmacy for its ‘great work in the local community’ following her visit earlier this month.

Cllr Asher Craig, who has responsibility for public health and community, praised Bedminster Pharmacy for the ‘range of clinical services’ it offers, award-winning contractor Ade Williams told The Pharmacist last week (21 February).

This has allowed the team to ‘deliver better patient care to the residents in Bedminster’ in collaboration with other local healthcare providers, she added.

Ms Craig said: ‘It is quite clear from what I witnessed that the traditional role of the community pharmacist as the white coat-wearing healthcare professional who dispenses prescriptions has changed enormously.’

‘Pharmacies have a key role to play in keeping people healthy and are often the first port of call when we feel unwell.’


Invest in community pharmacy


This comes as the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) appealed to policy makers to invest in community pharmacy earlier this month (19 February).

Speaking at the Conservative Health Forum on the future of pharmacy at the House of Lords, NPA board member Andrew Lane said funding issues were stifling innovation.

MPs heard about the Community Pharmacy Referral Scheme, piloted in the North East, which saw 76% of referrals from NHS111 to community pharmacies.

Mr Lane said: ‘That keeps them away from the GP surgery or the emergency department which is where they had been going, because they didn’t know where else to go.

In the first four months of operation more than 5,000 patients were referred, saving the equivalent of 11 weeks of GP time.’