Every new MP to Parliament should be invited to visit an independent community pharmacy before October, when Parliament begins its autumn session, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has urged.
The NPA will be working with other pharmacy bodies on political engagement in the new parliament, including PSNC who will encourage LPCs to make contact with new MPs in England. Friday 21 July was the first day of the parliamentary summer recess, meaning that many MPs will be spending more time in their constituencies over the coming weeks, and so it's the ideal time to lobby their support.
NPA chairman, Ian Strachan, said: “Thanks to the Support Your Local Pharmacy campaign, we reached an unprecedented level of active political support during the previous Parliament. It is no coincidence that all the main UK-wide political parties included pledges about community pharmacy in their General Election manifestos. That level of engagement needs to be the new normal, because the politicians must now make good on the promises they have made to the electorate about supporting pharmacies. We need to build a coalition behind a positive agenda for service development, properly funded and endorsed at the highest levels of Government.
“The contact with MPs must come locally – ideally from pharmacy owner to MP - and the relationships built constituency by constituency. We will continue to do all we can nationally, but the local relationships are so important to a sustainable programme of political engagement.”
The NPA will give bespoke support to any pharmacy hosting an MP. Pharmacy owners are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice and free resources.