Yesterday (9th May) Michael Fabricant welcomed the new policy on pharmacies, but asked whether by relieving the pressure on GPs, it would overwhelm local pharmacies instead.
Michael Fabricant asked: “As the Hon Lady opposite will know” (Taiwo Owatemi MP who is a trained pharmacist) “it takes five years to be awarded a Master of Pharmacy degree to become fully qualified. Continued training goes on as pharmacists advance in their career, so this is a very valuable resource and I welcome the statement by the Health Secretary.
“My Rt Hon Friend will know that in France for example, where it costs €26.50 to see a GP, most people would choose to see a pharmacist first. My question is this: by taking pressure off general practices, is he sure that he’s not going to overwhelm pharmacists like mine in Lichfield and Burntwood and elsewhere in the midlands?”
Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, replied: “My Hon Friend quite rightly draws on the practice in other countries and the fact that actually, patients are very willing and happy to go to pharmacists where that is more appropriate for the treatment they’re using, and that is what the Pharmacy First Strategy is all about, and learning the lessons from that, whilst also thinking about some other risks around antimicrobial resistance, and making sure we mitigate around that.
“In terms of the impact on pharmacies, I refer my Hon Friend to the quotes from the sector; this is something that the sector themselves have called for, that they have welcomed, and it responds to discussions we have had where pharmacists themselves have said they are keen to do more, but they needed the funding to go with that – that is what Pharmacy First delivers.”
Coincidentally, Michael raised this issue back on the 25th April. You can read about it here.
Earlier the same day, Michael raised the issue of the policing of the Coronation.
Michael said in the House of Commons: “The Minister said rightly that hundreds of people were allowed to protest against the once-in-a-generation Coronation. Hundreds of thousands of people were present to actually celebrate the Coronation, while millions in the United Kingdom and around the world watched it on television.
“I’m getting pretty fed up with the police apologising all the time. I can say that ordinary police officers doing a decent job, as they did on Saturday, find that their morale is at rock bottom when they are given the instruction: “We will deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining the celebration”, which came from the Metropolitan Police on 3rd May, and then finding that someone is apologising for them doing just that.”
Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire, Chris Philp, answered: “The Metropolitan Police Commissioner had an article in today’s Evening Standard which very robustly sets out the background and defends the police’s approach to the Coronation. If any Member of the House has not yet read that Evening Standard article, I’d strongly recommend Members on both sides to read it.
“The comment he refers to specifically was an expression of regret that those six people were unable to join the hundreds of others who were peacefully protesting. Those hundreds of others were exercising their right to peaceful protest, as they are perfectly entitled to do, but it is worth mentioning in passing, as my Hon Friend has just done; they were in a tiny tiny minority, but that does not in any way undermine their right to protest if they choose to.”