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Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date her Department agreed plans to encourage pharmacists to carry out basic procedures like blood pressure checks and issue prescriptions. (140008)

The commissioning of national health service services such as pharmacist prescribing and routine blood pressure checks are matters for primary care trusts (PCTs) to determine. These services are local enhanced services which PCTs can commission according to their assessment of local priorities and needs, under the new community pharmacy contractual framework introduced from April 2005. Pharmacies may, in addition, offer these services privately to the public.

The Secretary of State for Health agreed on 8 November 2005 to accept the then Committee on Safety of Medicines’ recommendation that pharmacists could train to become independent prescribers. Only those pharmacists who have successfully completed a prescribing training course and been registered with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain as a prescriber can be commissioned by the PCT to provide this service.