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Streeting continues to assemble health team with more pro-pharmacy MPs

Health & NHS news

Streeting continues to assemble health team with more pro-pharmacy MPs

Health secretary Wes Streeting has continued to assemble his team at the Department of Health and Social Care with the appointments of Andrew Gwynne and Baroness Merron.

The pair’s arrival as junior ministers will interest community pharmacy since both expressed support for the sector when Labour were in opposition, just as Stephen Kinnock and Karin Smyth, who have also joined the Department, have done in recent years.

In May, Gwynne (pictured), the MP for Denton and Reddish, told parliament that Labour would “roll out more services to pharmacies” if it won power having spent years campaigning for better pharmacy funding.

In November 2017, he said: “Continued cuts to community pharmacies risk increasing the pressure on our already stretched hospitals and Accident and Emergency departments.

“Our pharmacies are a crucial lifeline for communities and further closures would see vulnerable patients face lengthy visits to hospitals.”

Baroness Merron has also supported community pharmacy’s fight for increased funding. In February this year, she told parliament “we should not forget that pharmacies are seriously underfunded” having asked what was being done to support them.

“(Pharmacies) are already facing a perfect storm with inflationary pressures on running costs, recruitment challenges and an unstable medicines market,” she said.

However, the identity of the minister who will have responsibility for pharmacy is yet to be revealed.


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