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Sue Sharpe: Why 2017 will be a ‘testing’ year

The chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has outlined the "difficult" challenges the sector will face this year.

In a New Year’s message published yesterday (January 3), Sue Sharpe said: “2017 will be another testing year for us all.”

“We are working in an increasingly hostile environment and the financial stringencies biting across the whole of the public sector will continue for several years,” Ms Sharpe added. 

After PSNC’s legal challenge against the funding cuts – scheduled for the second week of February – has ended then a “major policy objective” of the negotiator for the year will be to build a “strong basis for working with our NHS colleagues in the future”, Ms Sharpe said.

In the coming months, PSNC will also address the points raised in the Murray Review and the Community Pharmacy Forward View.

From patients to local stakeholders, “every pharmacy” has a part to play in delivering improvements in community pharmacies, said Ms Sharpe, who also warned that “commissioners can be reluctant to depend on the sector” when relationships are “patchy”.

Ms Sharpe recognised the significant efforts already being made by the sector. After the cuts were announced in December 2015 “community pharmacy pulled together like never before”, with the movement's strength epitomised by the record-breaking cuts petition.

Read why PSNC and the government have a long way to go to rebuild their relationship here.

How is your pharmacy coping with the cuts?

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