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NHS England cuts budget that funds pharmacy global sum

The budget for direct commissioning – which includes the community pharmacy global sum – will fall 3% over the next five years, the commissioning body says

UPDATE: The government has announced plans to cut pharmacy funding by 6% next year. Click here for the full story.


NHS England will cut the overall budget through which it funds community pharmacy by 3% over the next five years.

The £6.68 billion budget for direct commissioning – which is used to fund the global sums for community pharmacy, dentistry, ophthalmology services, and public health – will fall 0.6% to £6.64bn next year, the commissioning body revealed this morning (December 17).

The budget will drop to £6.46bn by 2020-21 – 3% lower than it is now, it said.

NHS England told C+D it will have "more details" on the impact of the cuts on community pharmacy later this afternoon.

C+D has also received unconfirmed reports this week that the community pharmacy global sum – which currently stands at £2.8bn – will be cut as part of the 2016-17 funding settlement. 

See the table below for full details of changes to NHS England's direct commissioning budget:

2015-16 allocation 2016-17 allocation 2017-18 allocation 2018-19 allocation 2019-20 allocation 2020-21 allocation
£6.68bn £6.64bn £6.64bn £6.61bn £6.53bn £6.46bn
Source: NHS England board paper, published December 17, 2015

Alongside the changes, NHS England announced that it will boost its funding for general practice "at a higher rate than for other health services", increasing its spend by between 4% and 5.4% each year for the next five years. 

Every clinical commissioning group (CCG) will also get a real-terms budget increase, it added.

PSNC was unavailable to comment on NHS England's announcement.

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