Keith Ridge: 'I get the frustration' over closures
England's chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge says he "recognises how difficult" it is for contractors facing closure because of government funding cuts
Keith Ridge told C+D that he "gets the frustration" of owners that could be forced to close their pharmacies because of the 6% cut to the global sum in England.
"It's really hard, my dad had his own business," Mr Ridge said yesterday (February 2).
Pharmacy minister Alistair Burt admitted last month that between 1,000 and 3,000 pharmacies could close because of the cut, planned for October. In a C+D poll last month, one in five readers said their pharmacy could face closure.
Mr Ridge, who initially announced the cut in an open letter to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) in December, told C+D "the market will decide" how many pharmacies remain open.
"People will make estimates, but one way or another it will ultimately be [up to] the market," he said.
How government reached the 6% figure
Mr Ridge was vague when asked how the government had settled on the 6% cut to the global sum in England.
"A discussion involv[ing] a lot of people in the context of the [government's] spending review eventually came to that figure. I recognise the consequences, but it’s a very thorough process," he said.