A Save Our Pharmacies campaign website has been launched by leading national pharmacy bodies, to give new focus to calls for fair pharmacy funding in England. 

It is the latest output of a joint programme of work being coordinated by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, National Pharmacy Association, Company Chemists’ Association, and the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies.

In January, they launched the Save Our Pharmacies campaign, joining forces on a programme of activities for fair NHS funding for pharmacies in England, including coordinating efforts to mobilise public support.

‘The Save Our Pharmacies campaign will focus on highlighting both the pressures that pharmacies are under and the huge untapped potential of the sector – including to offer a Pharmacy First service – if appropriate resourcing is made available,' they said in a joint statement.

The group says it will ‘develop shared resources for effective parliamentary lobbying and mobilising public opinion in the face of chronic underfunding that threatens further pharmacy closures,’ and will ‘work hard to show off the value of pharmacy,’ continuing to push for a fully-funded Pharmacy First service.

The website launch (8 March) came the same day the group published a public petition on the ‘38 Degrees’ platform, which calls for immediate, fair and sustained funding to safeguard NHS pharmacy services.

The newly launched site contains key messages for the public, politicians and stakeholders, and hosts campaign resources to be used by pharmacy teams. It will undergo further development as the campaign progresses, with new resources added to ensure maximum public engagement, the national pharmacy organisations said.

Members of the public and pharmacy teams are encouraged to show their support for the campaign on social media, as well as signing the petition and contacting their local MPs about fair funding.

A further resource in the form of a window poster is being printed and will shortly be mailed out to all community pharmacies in England.

‘A campaign of this kind benefits from having a central reference point like a website and a clear call to action like a petition,’ the national pharmacy organisations said in a joint statement. ‘The website gives our supporters consistent messages, whilst the petition gives a persistent drum beat for the campaign.

‘The pharmacy bodies are determined to keep working together to secure fair funding in England. We’re also keeping up calls for a fully funded, nationwide ‘Pharmacy First’ service.’

Regular campaign events are expected, with the first being the Save Our Pharmacies: Emergency Summit Roundtable on 21 March, hosted by Stephen Hammond MP.

The default hashtag for the campaign on social media is #SaveOurPharmacies.