PHARMACISTS should be used to take pressure off other parts of our overstretched health system, according to an MP.
Havant MP Alan Mak said pharmacists represented an ‘underused resource’ and should be given more responsibilities within the NHS.
Mr Mak made the comments at a meeting of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee at the Brookfield Hotel in Emsworth.
He said he wanted to see pharmacists take on a greater role in Britain’s health service, and said he would lobby for this to happen.
Mr Mak said: ‘Pharmacists are an underutilised part of the healthcare team and it is essential that we make the best use of their skills and extensive training to take the pressure off other parts of the healthcare system.
‘It has been a fascinating discussion today and I will be following up on the meeting with those who commission pharmacy services to see what more can be done to ensure the NHS locally is using pharmacists more effectively.’
Mr Mak was at the meeting to get to know pharmacists in the area and hear about the daily challenges they face.
Mr Mak said: ‘I heard from some of our pharmacists what a great contribution they are making on a daily basis to the provision of healthcare for local people and how they make a real difference to people’s lives, by not only ensuring that they receive their medicines in a timely manner, but also the advice they give to ensure people get the best use from them.
‘Over the next few months I will be visiting a few of my local pharmacies to see at first hand exactly what a great job they are doing.’
Among the pharmacists there were Patrick Leppard and Keith Seston, who told Mr Mak about their role and the contribution they make to patient care as part of a primary healthcare team.
They were joined by committee chairman Arun Sharma and past chairwoman Debby Crockford.