News

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 12 May 2021

Media Summary

Queen’s speech: Pharmacy bodies call for clarity
P3 Pharmacy, Pharmacy Magazine, 11 May 2021

P3 Pharmacy reports that community pharmacies want more clarity on the Health and Care Bill which was set out in the Queen’s Speech.

The Health and Care Bill plans to transfer some decision-making powers from the NHS to the Health Secretary, provide greater integration between different health and care providers and reduce bureaucracy.

Company Chemists’ Association Chief Malcolm Harrison said that the legislation should be used to fully integrate community pharmacies into the health and social care landscape which would benefit patients and the NHS.

This was also reported by Pharmacy Business.

Brexit minister says NI Protocol operation is ‘not sustainable’
BBC News Northern Ireland, John Campbell, 11 May 2021

BBC News reports that Lord Frost, the UK Cabinet Minister responsible for oversight of the implementation of the Brexit deal, said it is hard to see that the way the Northern Ireland Protocol is currently operating “can be sustainable for long”.

This statement followed Lord Frost’s visit to Northern Ireland where he met with numerous business and community representatives.

The protocol is the part of the Brexit deal which creates a border in the Irish Sea, agreed by the UK and EU in October 2019 and which was subject to further negotiation in 2020. It keeps NI in the EU single market for goods and means EU customs rules are enforced at its ports.

Lord Frost said that “businesses have gone to extraordinary efforts to make the current requirements work, but it is hard to see that the way the protocol is currently operating can be sustainable for long.”

He said that he hoped the EU would take a “pragmatic way forward” and that the UK Government will “continue to consider all our options in meeting our overriding responsibility for sustaining the peace and prosperity of everyone in Northern Ireland”.

UK and EU officials are currently involved in talks to simplify the operation of the protocol.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

Lord Frost calls on EU to show pragmatism on the Protocol after meetings with a number of business and community representatives in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Office, 11 May 2021

Lord Frost, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, calls on the EU to show pragmatism on the Protocol after meetings with a number of business and community representatives in Northern Ireland.

Lord Frost and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, met with a number of business and community representatives on a two-day visit. They heard about some of the current difficulties in the operation of the Protocol and the consequent disruption to businesses and consumers.

Both Lord Frost and Mr Lewis made it clear that the EU needed to take a pragmatic and proportionate approach to the Protocol if key elements of it were to be sustainable.

During the visit Lord Frost and Mr Lewis heard about the concerns regarding the level and complexity of paperwork required even on goods remaining in Northern Ireland, notably in the agrifood sector; about disruption to supply chains from Great Britain and consequent diversion of trade; and about the risks associated with the expiry of the grace periods and the introduction of further processes as a result.

Lord Frost said: “We’re committed to working through the issues with the EU urgently and in good faith. I hope they will take a common sense, risk-based approach that enables us to agree a pragmatic way forward that substantially eases the burdens on Northern Ireland.”

 

Full Coverage

Queen’s speech: Pharmacy bodies call for clarity
P3 Pharmacy, Pharmacy Magazine, 11 May 2021

Community pharmacy’s representative bodies are demanding greater clarity on the proposed Health and Care Bill set out in today’s (May 11) Queen’s Speech.

The bill incudes plans to transfer some decision-making powers from NHS to the health secretary, achieve greater integration between different health and care providers and reduce bureaucracy.

Commenting on the bill, Company Chemists’ Association chief Malcolm Harrison said the legislation should be used to fully integrate community pharmacies into the health and social care landscape.

Mr Harrison said: “When community pharmacies are fully integrated into local healthcare systems there are multiple benefits for patients and the NHS.

“As well as their role as experts in medicines, community pharmacy teams have proven that they can support other elements of the health service to meet the urgent care needs of local populations. It is vital that these capabilities are recognised by local systems so that the appropriate referrals are made.

“The recognition of the value of community pharmacies shown by the public and many leading politicians during the pandemic needs to be translated into legislative change that will cement this vital sector’s role in all health systems.”

RPS: ‘Legislation not enough’

Meanwhile, Royal Pharmaceutical Society England board chair Clair Anderson said that while greater collaboration has long been a priority “legislation alone will not guarantee success”.

She commented: “How these changes are implemented on the ground will be key and there are still a number of questions on issues such as leadership and governance, clinical and patient engagement, and the scale of future changes to commissioning.

“We welcomed the commitment from the Government’s White Paper to work with the health and care system in developing this implementation programme. If we are to learn the lessons from Covid-19 and truly build back better with innovative approaches to patient care, pharmacy must be included alongside other partners.”

Workforce investment and improvements to health and care records will also be needed to deliver integrated care throughout England, Ms Anderson added.

The National Pharmacy Association said: “Today’s speech repeated commitments to fund the NHS to aid the country’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. It is essential that the Government keeps its promises to properly fund pharmacy services so that pharmacies can help the nation get back on its feet.”

Brexit minister says NI Protocol operation is ‘not sustainable’
BBC, John Campbell, 11 May 2021

The UK’s Brexit Minister Lord Frost has said it is hard to see that the way the Northern Ireland Protocol is currently operating “can be sustainable for long”.

He was speaking after a visit to Northern Ireland.

The protocol is the part of the Brexit deal which creates a border in the Irish Sea.

It was agreed by the UK and EU in October 2019 and was subject to further negotiation in 2020.

It keeps NI in the EU single market for goods and means EU customs rules are enforced at its ports.

Lord Frost met businesses from several sectors including aerospace, food, retail, and life sciences.
He also visited the Border Control Post at Larne Harbour.

‘Significant challenges’

He said: “It’s clear from my visit that the protocol is presenting significant challenges for many in Northern Ireland.

“Businesses have gone to extraordinary efforts to make the current requirements work, but it is hard to see that the way the protocol is currently operating can be sustainable for long.”

He added that he hoped the EU would take a “pragmatic way forward” and that the UK government will “continue to consider all our options in meeting our overriding responsibility for sustaining the peace and prosperity of everyone in Northern Ireland”.

UK and EU officials are currently engaged in low key talks aimed at simplifying the operation of the protocol.

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 12 May 2021

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