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Dispensing GP challenges raised in hour-long parliamentary debate

DDA briefing informs challenge over the EPS, clinical services and dispensing at a loss

February 24th 2023

Tagged: political news Rurality

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Dispensing GP challenges such as the lack of the EPS, clinical services equivalent to those in pharmacies, and dispensing at a loss have been raised in the House of Lords.

In a debate brought by DDA advisor Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, the government was challenged over the lack of hospital discharge planning and medicine use reviews available in dispensing GPs, as well as implementing the EPS in dispensing practices.

Baroness McIntosh told the chamber that dispensing practices are under the same cost pressures as community pharmacies. “Despite this, the recent changes to the system of drug reimbursement in pharmacies have not been reflected in the dispensing doctor contract,” she said, citing penicillin as an example.

Lords Whip Lord Evans of Rainow replied: “The Government recognise the important work done by dispensing practices.” To back this up, he cited the five-year GP contract framework agreed in 2019 and £4.5 billion funding for primary and community care by 2023-24. He continued: “This money will help ensure that dispensing practices can continue to provide patients and communities with the prescriptions that they need and to which they are entitled. I assure my noble friend that this Government are, and will remain, committed to improving the health service in rural areas, as we are committed to improving it across England.”