Sunday, 16 October 2016 09:03

Rural pharmacies 'face closure threat'

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural pharmacies 'face closure threat'

UP to 1600 rural pharmacies face the threat of closure due to government funding cuts, it is claimed.

A government announcement is expected to see pharmacists lose £113m in funding this financial year and £208m next year.

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), which represents pharmacies, says it faces a 12% cut this year, with further cuts next year.

The committee has rejected the Department of Health’s proposed funding package for 2016/17.

It claims the proposed package includes reckless cuts to pharmacy funding that will, if implemented, see patients suffer as services are withdrawn.

The department will now have to propose a revised package, or impose their proposed funding changes on England’s community pharmacies, says the PSNC.

The committee argues that the package would force pharmacies to reduce staffing and cut back on important services.

It says the department was offered costed alternative proposals to reduce the NHS medicines bill, that would save the NHS money equivalent to the cuts demanded.

It also says the government has not published evidence supporting reduced pharmacy funding.

The committee argues that the government's approach would hit areas with greatest health inequalities hardest, and see free health services withdrawn from community pharmacies.

“The proposals are founded on ignorance of the value of pharmacies to local communities, to the NHS, and to social care, and will do great damage to all three,” said the PSNC.

The Department for Health responded by saying it was investing £112m to put 1,500 pharmacists in GP's surgeries.

It said it had worked collaboratively with the PSNC and have listened to its counter proposals over the course of many months.

Ministers were considering a proposed package for the sector, said a department spokesman.

“No final decision has been taken, but we are committed to offering more help to those pharmacies people most depend on? compared to others.”

  • No comments found

Leave your comments

0 / 500 Character restriction
Your text should be in between 10-500 characters
terms and condition.