Dartford MP Gareth Johnson calls on the PM to increase the role of pharmacies in a bid to ease pressure on the NHS

PM statement on covid 22.9.20

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has asked the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to increase the role of pharmacies and chemists to relieve pressure on the NHS.  

During the PM’s statement on Covid-19 to the House of Commons on Tuesday, Gareth Johnson said: “Darent Valley Hospital in my constituency did an amazing job at the heart of the outbreak, as did many of my local GP surgeries. However, they were under huge pressure.   

Therefore, would the Prime Minister consider extending the ability of local pharmacies and chemists to administer health treatment so these gems on our high street are able to ease the pressure on our health system?”  

In his reply, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “He is completely right that pharmacies and chemists are in the frontline of our health care and do an absolutely outstanding job in testing people for all kinds of things.”  

Following this exchange, Gareth Johnson said: “Just a few weeks ago, I visited and met staff at Boots in Dartford, which has remained open throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. 

There are many more services pharmacies could offer given the high level of training and expertise pharmacists have. I believe they are a key part of the NHS which is currently underused.  Pharmacists want to be able to offer treatments in more situations than is currently permitted and people seem to want them to, so we need to allow this to happen.

There has never been a more appropriate time to push for a trial of pharmacists being able to dispense routine medicines, which have previously only been available from GPs.  

Following my question in the House of Commons, I hope the Prime Minister will look into extending the services offered by pharmacists and help ease pressure on the NHS.”