With one month to go until the General Election, Pharmacy Voice and PSNC are encouraging pharmacy teams to ensure that their constituency candidates visit a local pharmacy.
Parliament was dissolved on 30 March 2015, allowing candidates a period until 8 May 2015 for the election campaign. Although during this period; there is no activity in Parliament, it can be an important time to engage with candidates who will be keen to engage with constituents.
Since the publication of the Community Pharmacy Manifesto in November 2014, many MPs from across the political spectrum have visited local pharmacies across the country and pledged their support.
Claire Ward, chair of Pharmacy Voice, commented:
“Most candidates are out on the streets of their constituencies every day now that Parliament has been dissolved. This means there are more opportunities to encourage a visit to your pharmacy to share the community pharmacy manifesto and highlight local issues. It is important to continue raising awareness of community pharmacy as an under-used resource which must become more prominent in the next Parliament.”
Local teams looking for more support can visit the www.pharmacymanifesto.com website which includes a toolkit with a template letter and guidance on identifying and liaising with prospective candidates.
The 2015 Community Pharmacy Manifesto, launched in November 2014 by Rt Hon Sir Kevin Barron MP, chair of the All Party Pharmacy Group, at the House of Commons, calls for politicians to sign up to five key pledges:
– Encourage patients to think “pharmacy first”, and use pharmacy to help relieve pressure on GPs and emergency departments
– Improve patient choice and healthcare by making it easier to commission pharmacy services and backing more national services
– Help improve the public&health, recognising the accessibility and support community pharmacy can provide
– Enable patients, especially those with long term conditions, to get more from their medicines through better use of community pharmacy
– Help pharmacies to get access to the records, information and support they need to provide more effective and safer care to patients
– Any photos of visits to community pharmacies can be submitted to email@example.com so they can be added to the supporters page