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Matt Hancock wants to ‘drive more money towards pharmacy’

Health secretary Matt Hancock wants to “drive more money towards pharmacy” within the NHS budget, he said on LBC’s Call The Cabinet television segment today (September 7).

The health secretary was asked by interviewer Nick Ferrari if he will be asking Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the exchequer, for more money for the sector after Mr Hancock described himself as a “massive, massive fan of pharmacists”.

Mr Hancock said that he “want[s] to drive more money towards pharmacy” from within the NHS budget, which he said “is going up”.

“I want to do a deal with pharmacies where we offer more NHS services to be delivered in pharmacies and we pay people for that,” he explained.

“I think that pharmacists can do far more, and they are the front door to the NHS in the community,” Mr Hancock added.

£370m advance funding

A DH spokesperson said: "During this unprecedented pandemic, £370 million has been made in advance payments to support pharmacies in maintaining medicine supplies and providing health advice.

"We are continuing to engage with the sector on funding to meet extra costs incurred during the peak of the pandemic."

Last week, a report by accountancy firm Ernst & Young warned that under the current funding model, the provision of services may be financially unviable for pharmacies in England.

In response this report, pharmacy bodies have called for greater funding to avoid closures and financial ruin for pharmacy contractors.

What do you make of Mr Hancock's comments?

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