DROITWICH MP Nigel Huddleston has welcomed the Government’s £300million boost to support community pharmacies during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Huddleston said the cash would not only help pharmacies across Worcestershire and the rest of England operate as normal but also enable them to provide critical services to protect community health, including supplying medicines and medical advice to patients during a period of unprecedented demand.
“Coronavirus has placed an enormous pressure on our community pharmacies, which is why I am pleased the Government is giving them a £300million cash boost to help support the vital role they play as we deal with this disease.
“Whilst businesses and venues have been instructed to remain closed – pharmacies are an important exception to this, they can remain open and continue to operate as normally as possible.
“For people who are shielding or self-isolating, pharmacies can deliver prescriptions to their door, so that everyone can get the medicine they need without breaching social distancing guidelines.”
The first £200million was paid to pharmacy contractors, alongside their normal monthly payments from the NHS Business Services Authority and the further £100million will be allocated on May 1.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has reduced the number of services that community pharmacies are required to deliver to allow them to prioritise the most important tasks, but they will still continue to receive their full NHS funding.
During this period, pharmacies will not be required to pilot new services or carry out non-critical administrative tasks.
DHSC is also working to increase the workforce capacity and flexibility, with calls to those pharmacy professionals who have recently to return.
The announcement came from Minister for Health Jo Churchill who said: “Every day, community pharmacies carry out critical work to protect the health of the public and support the wider NHS.
“This is even more important now as we face this unprecedented time.
“We hugely value the role of the community pharmacy, which is why we are backing them with £300 million of advanced funding to support them as we continue to assess the full additional impact of coronavirus on community pharmacy.
“To further support pharmacies, we have reduced the services they need to deliver during COVID-19 but have maintained their full funding.”