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Cuts and clawbacks: Contractors give their funding forecasts

Three pharmacy owners give a mixed forecast of how their businesses will be affected by the funding drop and category M clawback

An accountant warned this week that the combination of funding cuts and a recently announced category M clawback will result in the average English pharmacy losing around £19,000 over 10 months. C+D asked contractors how they are preparing for this shortfall...

“The only plan I’ve made is to get out of pharmacy" 

Hassan Khan, CEO of Healthwise T/A Cullimore Pharmacy, Surrey


The only plan I’ve made is to get out of pharmacy. What is the point in saving up all my life to buy a pharmacy to get no income?

I’d love for someone from NHS England to come and do a month’s work in an independent pharmacy and then look at the books and tell us how to survive.

I could work on the shop floor in Sainsbury’s and I’d probably earn more than I am now.

How am I supposed to do medicines use reviews (MURs) and the new medicines service (NMS) when I’ve got to get rid of one of my counter assistants? I’m just running on one counter assistant and a pre-reg. The way it’s going to end up working is the pre-reg will have to be a full-time counter assistant and dispenser. I’ve already had to cut hours.

Yet again, everything favours the big boys. It’s the independents that are going to get hit the most.



“I’ve had to think about redundancies and it’s extremely demoralising for the staff" 

Graham Phillips, superintendent pharmacist at Manor Pharmacy Group, Hertfordshire

The planning process is rendered impossible by the complete lack of clarity. It’s totally destabilised the sector.

I’ve had to think about redundancies and it’s extremely demoralising for the staff.

We were involved in so many positive things purely for quality, but we’ve had to abandon any service that doesn’t bring in income – the Healthy Living Pharmacy [initiatives], a dementia service and a lot of experimental and research work to support our academic colleagues. We’ll have to cut back and cut back; there’s no money to do it with.

It’s interesting to compare and contrast to Scotland, where pharmacists have been recognised and had a raise in their income. And [compare] the way GPs are being treated – the [£2.4 billion] raise that they are getting [from NHS England] is almost the size of our entire global sum.



“I’ve decided to expand upon my private services." 

Amish Patel, owner, Hodgson Pharmacy in Kent


I had a bit of a U-turn with my plans – recently I had a full-time member of staff leave me and with the announcement of the cuts I decided not to re-employ someone for those hours. But now I’ve decided to expand upon my private services.

These will include a private hearing aid clinic and our private mole screening clinic.

It will help set us apart from the competition and will fight the cuts.

In the meantime, I’ve hired a part-timer purely for promoting the private services. Her job has been to get my clinic filled up, to make sure the audiologist’s clinic is full and our private mole screening service is full.

It’s a six-month trial – if it doesn’t work, we’ll need to say goodbye and then I’ll be in the same boat as everyone else, when I have technically reduced my working hours.

Read more: Average pharmacy will lose £19k over 10 months

How is your pharmacy preparing for a drop in funding?

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