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Home  »   Latest News   »   PDA welcome new Health and Social Care Secretary

PDA welcome new Health and Social Care Secretary

Steve Barclay has been appointed by new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as the fifth Health & Social Care Secretary since the 2019 election, having also been the third such appointee for just two months earlier this summer.

Wed 26th October 2022 The PDA

Given his immediate predecessor, Dr Therese Coffey, was only in post for seven weeks, the issues in Mr Barclay’s in-tray are identical to those she was facing.

As the Secretary of State responsible for England’s NHS, a satisfactory solution to the dispute over NHS pay should be high on Mr Barclay’s agenda.  PDA members in the NHS have already expressed their dissatisfaction with the current below-inflation NHS pay offer and have indicated they would like the union to undertake a formal ballot for industrial action if other AHP unions move towards industrial action.

Other critical issues include:

  • What lessons will be learned from how the Covid-19 pandemic was managed and what still needs to be done in this regard?
  • How will the government seek to address the stark health inequalities which currently impact some population groups and communities?
  • How will the NHS create the right opportunities for patient care as a result of more pharmacist prescribers?
  • What action will be taken on the impact of funding levels in the English community pharmacy contract? and
  • Will the government be ambitious enough to look to community pharmacy to respond to the post-pandemic wider health challenges including prevention, by utilising its full potential?

Pharmacists stand ready to fully utilise their professional skills and expertise to see more patients for a range of currently unmet needs, and to divert some of the pressures currently being experienced across the health service, including general practice. In doing so, we want to see greater value placed on community pharmacy sector and those who work in it. We would welcome the new Secretary of State emphasising the importance of community pharmacy as a healthcare setting in the heart of each community, not thinking of them as retail outlets for wholesalers.

Health is a devolved function, and the PDA engages with the NHS, civil servants and ministers across all UK nations on an ongoing basis to progress the above and many more issues that matter to pharmacists. We look forward over the next hours and days to the full appointment of the Health and Social Care Ministerial team in Westminster and to building a productive relationship to the benefit of patients, pharmacists and the public.

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