MP Calls for More Patient Help from Community Pharmacies

Bexhill and Battle MP, Huw Merriman, this week helped launch a new campaign in Parliament aimed at providing more help for people with long term health conditions. Speaking at the launch of Community Pharmacy: Developing Services for the Future, Mr Merriman highlighted the vital role which East Sussex pharmacies play in looking after patients who are the most frequent users of local health and care services.

Figures obtained by the MP from NHS England show that constituents living with long-term health conditions account for 70% of the total health and care spend, 64% of hospital out-patient appointments and 50% of GP appointments.

Speaking after the launch, Mr Merriman said “I support the work which pharmacies play in my constituency towns and villages. They not only prescribe but deliver the local advice and support which reduces the demands on the more costly GPs and Hospitals. I have campaigned to ensure that all of my pharmacies continue to receive Government subsidies. Now I would like to help them do more and be used to the full. This is not only good for the patient but good for the taxpayer as well.”

As well as visiting more pharmacies over the summer, the MP will be feeding his ideas in to the Government for its forthcoming review of social care.