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PSNC ‘very worried’ about mental health impact of pharmacies' finances

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) is “very worried” about the impact financial pressures are having on the mental health of pharmacy staff.

C+D exclusively revealed earlier this month that 140 community pharmacies closed across England between November 2016 – the month before the 12% funding cut came into force – and May 2018.

In response, PSNC told C+D it is “very concerned” about the closures, which it attributed to “very great financial pressures on the sector”.

The negotiator is “particularly worried” about the impact these pressures are having on the long-term future of “businesses, employees, lives, families, and indeed mental health”, it said.

It has “made all these points to the UK government and will continue to do so”, it stressed.

PSNC is working with other pharmacy bodies “to do all that we can to make a combined case for the sector” to the government.

“Relatively small number” of closures

PSNC is also “worried” about the “potential impact” of the pharmacy closures on other healthcare providers, who may have experienced an increase in demand, as well as on patients who had used their services.

“Closures are still in relatively small numbers so far as we are aware, but we are monitoring the situation carefully and are in close contact with the Department of Health and Social Care about it.”

“Any reduction in the numbers of pharmacies could impact on those who can least afford it,” it added.

Pharmacists under “substantial stress”

In June, Royal Pharmaceutical Society board member Hemant Patel asked the organisation to combat the “devastating problem” of pharmacists’ stress.

Mr Patel, who is also North-east London local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) secretary, told C+D last Thursday (July 26) that pharmacists in his area are under “substantial stress” as a result of cashflow problems and “diminished viability”.

Reports to the LPC of “financial distress and difficulty paying wholesaler bills” have increased in the last three months, Mr Patel added.

The LPC will be “carefully monitoring” stress levels, he said.

Has financial pressure caused you stress in your pharmacy?

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