Harpenden MP backs pharmacy fight

PUBLISHED: 19:01 28 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:44 06 May 2010

Graham Phillips, student Chandni Madhvani and Peter Lilley at Manor Pharmacy

Graham Phillips, student Chandni Madhvani and Peter Lilley at Manor Pharmacy

PHARMACIST Graham Phillips, who has highlighted concerns about the lack of support from a health trust, has received the seal of approval from his local MP. Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, visited Manor Pharmacy in Harpenden to discuss with ow

PHARMACIST Graham Phillips, who has highlighted concerns about the lack of support from a health trust, has received the seal of approval from his local MP.

Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, visited Manor Pharmacy in Harpenden to discuss with owner Mr Phillips how high street pharmacists can make a greater contribution to health care.

He said: "I was impressed by Graham's enthusiasm to make pharmacies the first port of call for patients with minor ailments, so reducing the burden on hard-pressed GPs. He also believes pharmacies should offer various health checks and give advice on issues such as stopping smoking and controlling weight gain.

Mr Lilley has also promised to take up some of Mr Phillips' concerns about the West Herts Primary Care Trust (PC) when he next meets with them.

Mr Phillips feels that the work carried out by community pharmacists is not supported well enough by the PCT which is slow paying for services and does not respond promptly to emails, letters or phone calls.

He was also critical of delays in issuing email addresses so that diagnostic findings from pharmacies could easily be passed on to GP practices to put into patient notes.

But the PCT maintained that they had a very good relationship with their community pharmacists from whom they commissioned a wide range of health services.

Pledging to discuss the situation with the PCT, Mr Lilley said: "In particular I would encourage them to have a positive view on the way pharmacists and GPs can work together for the benefit of patients."

While he was visiting the pharmacy, Mr Lilley was offered a blood pressure test by branch pharmacist Louise Laming who concluded that he was in the category "youthful athletic.

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