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'Phasing out’ establishment payments will hit patients

Contractors, including Hodgson Pharmacy owner Amish Patel, warn removing the £25,000 annual payment will force pharmacies to cut opening hours


Government plans to "phase out" establishment payments for pharmacies in England will force contractors to cut staff and reduce services to patients, C+D readers have said.

The Department of Health (DH) plans to completely scrap the £25,000 a year payment – made to pharmacists that dispense more than 2,500 prescriptions a month – "over a number of years", it said in a briefing document published by PSNC last week.

Kent contractor Sunil Kochhar said stopping the payments would badly damage his business.


Amish Patel, owner of Hodgson pharmacy in Kent, told C+D the news has left his considering whether to sell his business. “How many changes are there left to make? I already run extremely efficiently,” he said.

Pharmacy manager Chris Bonsell told C+D his Yorkshire pharmacy will have to cut staff to cope with the funding drop, leaving him less time to deliver services to patients. “Not to mention the impact and stress felt by pharmacy teams, which will cut patient consultation time,” he added.

Establishment payments an "easy target"

Barnsley local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) chair Paul Mason said the government sees establishment payments as an “easy target”.

The DH warned in December that there are “more pharmacies than necessary” in England, with 40% of businesses located within a 10-minute walk of three or more others. But Mr Mason warned cuts to establishment payments are a “blunt tool” if the government wants to ensure the “right” pharmacies close. 


More news on the funding cuts...

APPG: Government expects up to 3,000 pharmacies to close

Two-thirds of readers back strike action

Pharmacy funding cuts: Everything you need to know



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