Chemist + Druggist is part of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


NHS chief: We must be 'resolute' about 'controversial' cuts

NHS England must be resolute about its “controversial” funding decisions, chief executive Simon Stevens has said when questioned about community pharmacy.

Speaking at a parliamentary Public Accounts Committee oral evidence session last week (September 14), Mr Stevens responded to a question from Labour MP Karin Smyth about pharmacy minister David Mowat's announcement that details of a planned cut to pharmacy funding would be delayed.

Ms Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said: "There has been a reprieve or a delay for cuts that were in the forward budgets for next year. Community pharmacy, we read, has been saved."

After first announcing that the planned 6% cut to pharmacy funding in England is to be delayed beyond October, the Department of Health wrote to pharmacy organisations last week (September 14) to inform them that a funding "package" for the sector will be announced in mid-October – and implemented in December. 

Ms Smyth said the delay to the funding decision does not give confidence that there is an "overall plan [for the health service] that people are sticking to".

Mr Stevens denied Ms Smyth's suggestion that a delay to the £170 million cut to funding amounted to a "raid" by the Department of Health on the NHS. But the delay in implementing the cut is a “further budget pressure”, which he is “having to manage”, he said.

Community pharmacy is “hugely valuable”, but there are “legitimate considerations” that the NHS is spending “something like £2.8 billion” in order to “dole out £8 billion-worth of medicines”, Mr Stevens claimed.

"There are efficiencies to be made in every part of our cost structure," he said. 

"In order to deliver against the funding that we have, we are going to have to be resolute on some often quite controversial decisions," Mr Stevens added.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society fellow and former president Steve Churton told C+D that he hopes Mr Stevens' comments do not reflect that NHS England “fundamentally misunderstands the role and value of community pharmacy”.

Referring specifically to Mr Steven's comment about pharmacists "doling out" medicines, Mr Churton said it "does not bode well".


What action is your pharmacy taking now the funding cut has been delayed?
No action
Investing in the business again
Continuing to make savings in case the funding drop is confirmed
Total votes: 172

What do you make of Mr Steven's comments?

Related Content


Pharmacist Managers - Recruiting Now !
East London, Essex and Luton
£40,000 - £50,000 per year

Apply Now



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts