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Impact assessment of funding cuts does not exist, DH admits

The Department of Health maintains that an impact assessment will be published "in due course"

UPDATE - July 4, 3pm

The Department of Health (DH) told C+D this afternoon that although an impact assessment may not have existed at the time it wrote its response (June 28), it always intended to publish one "in due course". 

"We remain committed to this," the DH said today.

C+D's original story from this morning, including the DH's statement from last week that an impact assessment "does not exist", can be read below.

C+D's ORIGINAL STORY (please see above for additional information):

There will be no impact assessment on the planned cuts to community pharmacy funding, the Department of Health (DH) has revealed.

Despite pharmacy minister Alistair Burt assuring readers in February that an impact assessment on the cuts was coming “in due course”, the DH has since admitted that “an impact assessment does not exist”.

Instead, the proposed £170 million cut to pharmacy funding in England was considered in the context of the government's duty to ensure equality across the public sector "and other duties”, it said in response to a freedom of information (FOI) request sent on June 28.

Consultation responses to be published instead

The responses to the government's consultation on the funding cuts, which closed on May 24, will also "inform the final assessment and will be published in due course”, it added in its letter, seen by C+D.

Pharmacy London chief executive Rekha Shah, who sent the FOI request, originally asked the DH to publish the promised impact assessment in the wake of “significant public concern” about the proposals. 

Effect of cuts on patient access and care

Commenting on the news, Pharmacy Voice said it has been calling for the publication of more detail about how the government has assessed the impact of cuts to the sector. This should include how patient access and quality of care will be affected, it stressed.

"The response Rekha has received speaks for itself," Pharmacy Voice added. 

C+D has asked the DH to comment on its reponse. 


What do you make of the DH's response?

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