Members of Parliament have been invited to an emergency summit this week to help ‘save’ the nation’s pharmacies.

The meeting, which will be chaired by MP Stephen Hammond on Tuesday 21 March, will focus on the role that pharmacies could play in the government’s anticipated Primary Care Recovery Plan, as well as the risks of not fully utilising the sector.

Organised by cross-sector group Save Our Pharmacies, sector leaders speaking at the event are expected to focus on proposals for a fully funded Pharmacy First scheme in England, which they say would enable pharmacies to provide additional services to the general public and reduce pressure in both primary and secondary care, provided fair funding is made available.

MPs will also hear about new data from PSNC’s recent pharmacy pressures survey, and will be briefed about the funding challenges facing the sector, a growing workforce crisis and issues with medicines supply and rising prices, as well as the impact of funding challenges on the public’s access to pharmacies and the provision of services.

A document shared by the group says that ‘pharmacies need protection from external shocks to the medicines supply market’ and that the recent record number of price concessions suggests a ‘dysfunctional medicine market’ that ‘needs to be urgently reformed’.

The event will feature short talks from representatives from all the pharmacy groups including Dr Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp), Janet Morrison, chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and representatives from the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) and the National Pharmacy Association.

A spokesperson for the Save Our Pharmacies campaign group said: ‘It is critical that we keep talking about the role that community pharmacies should play in the recovery plan and we look forward to outlining what a fully funded Pharmacy First service would look like and what benefits it would deliver for patients, public and the NHS.’