Pharmacy minister Will Quince visited a Boots pharmacy in Westminster yesterday, where he received a blood pressure check, a flu jab, and discussed the future of community pharmacy.

Mr Quince visited the pharmacy with MP Nikie Aiken. During the visit, a pharmacist working at Boots explained to the minister the range of services the pharmacy delivers, from the new medicines service to emergency contraception and the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service.

Mr Quince said in a Tweet that ‘it was great to see in action what pharmacy can do to reduce pressure on general practice and support prevention in the community.’

Malcolm Harrison, chief executive of the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA), which organised the visit, said that the CCA shares Mr Quince’s vision for how community pharmacies can contribute to Our Plan for Patients set out by former health secretary Therese Coffey.

He said: ‘It is great to have the support of the minister and we are excited for the future of pharmacy.’

He added: ‘We are worried that the current levels of under investment, and the continued workforce challenges, mean that pharmacies may not be able to deliver the minister’s vision.

‘Community pharmacies pride themselves on their ability to provide accessible care, medicines, and advice. We know that the sector can support the NHS and local communities even more, if the government provides the funding needed for today and works with us to effectively plan for the future.’

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that Our Plan for Patients sets out an expanded range of services from community pharmacies, increasing convenience for patients and freeing up GP time for more complex needs of patients.

These include pharmacists being able to manage and supply more medicines without a prescription from a GP.

The spokesperson was unable to confirm whether the new Health Secretary would continue with this vision, saying that Mr Barclay would be setting out his priorities in due course.