Pharmacists are unable to engage in conversations about collaborative relationships as they are overwhelmed by bureaucracy. 

Spending too much time on providing prescriptions in order to keep their business viable is a worry for pharmacists, for who the difference between survival and comfort is “very fine”, said chief executive of Londwide LMCs, Dr Michelle Drage. 

“I don’t think I’d choose to have clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) constructed the way there are now, there should be pharmacists on the board,” said Dr Drage. 

“Those doing the contracting don’t see the benefit of time spent building relationships and how much more efficiency you’ll get in the system - instead of looking at the glue holding these services together they’re more interested in assessing things such as quality in practice,” Dr Drage said.

Pharmacists’ role in improving the health and wellbeing of communities was labelled “pivotal” by director of public health at Trafford Council, Abdul Razzaq at the Westminster Social Policy forum on tackling health inequalities. 

“Pharmacist provide healthy living pharmacies, health services such as emergency hormonal contraception, chlmaydia services, NHS checks, and smoking cessation advice. 

“They have to build upon these excellent foundations to be seen as a key point of access instead of GP and A&E services.

“NHS England and Public Health England are promoting the message for people to visit their pharmacist more through social media and more traditionally, through members of the community,” said Razzaq.