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Dispensing Doctors (NHS)

Volume 576: debated on Tuesday 25 February 2014

Patients can take their prescriptions to any pharmacy where they wish to have their prescriptions dispensed, but we know that in remote and rural areas, where pharmacies may not be viable, NHS England may authorise GPs to dispense to patients, provided that certain criteria set out in regulations are met.

Dispensing doctors play an important part in rural areas, as the Minister said, but they face particular challenges at the moment. Will she meet me and representatives of the Dispensing Doctors’ Association to discuss these challenges?

I am always happy to meet colleagues. I think that Earl Howe leads on the matter in the Department, and I shall draw the hon. Gentleman’s concerns to his attention. It is for NHS England to ensure that everyone has a pharmacy available to them, and I am aware that the CCG allocation formula includes allowances for rurality, but we know that this is a particular challenge.