'I'm considering selling': Contractors reveal true impact of the cuts
What was it like to be a pharmacy owner in England in the first year of the funding cuts?
The C+D Salary Survey 2017 – which ran throughout October – revealed that 79% of contractors in England experienced a drop in their income in the previous 12 months, which spanned the Department of Health's imposition of a 12% cut to the country's community pharmacy budget.
C+D can exclusively reveal this week that among those whose income fell, the average decrease was 13%.
To go beyond the figures and see the human impact of the funding cuts in England, C+D has sifted through the anonymous comments of contractors who completed the Salary Survey. The results below are first-hand accounts which reveal how contractors are struggling to cope.
Pharmacy owners are having to do more for less
“Profit margins are reduced, thus it is becoming difficult to survive, as all other costs of running a business are going up.”
“Reduced staff, increasing workload and decreasing levels of customer service.”
“I have to work harder for less money.”
“Income is drastically affected. I have increased workload, with less time off. I'm considering selling.”
“My prescription numbers have increased by 20%, yet my net profit has reduced slightly.”
“I have had to use my account overdraft more than I would normally.”
“I've seen a drastic reduction in overall income, leading to cashflow problems when settling bills. I'm reluctant to invest, due to unpredictable future funding.”
“We have lost nearly £35,000 in income.”
Pharmacy staff are also taking a hit
“We use less locums and are not replacing staff.”
“We lost three members of staff including two full-time members, and did not replace them. Our existing staff have been working tremendously hard and under great stress.”
“I have seen a member of staff become unwell due to the stresses in the pharmacy.”
Forced to make cutbacks
“We have started to charge for some deliveries if patients can afford them.”
“I reduced my own salary to hedge the increasing costs of staff and drugs.”
For more analysis of the financial impact of the funding cuts in England on community pharmacy contractors – from scrapped services to postponed investments – click here.
The C+D Salary Survey 2017 – which ran throughout October – was completed by a total of 1,754 pharmacists and pharmacy staff. C+D's ongoing coverage from the survey can be found here.