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'I've had no salary for 3 months due to 24% payment drop'

A Hampshire contractor has not paid himself a salary for the last three months because the drop in his government payments was double what he expected.

Sultan ‘Sid’ Dajani, owner of Wainwright’s Chemist in Bishopstoke, suffered a “23.9%” loss in payments between January and March 2017, compared to the same period last year, despite seeing dispensing volume rise, he told C+D exclusively yesterday (June 7).

As a result, he has not paid himself his pharmacist’s salary, to “maintain goodwill” among his staff, said Mr Dajani, who is also a Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English board member.

Mr Dajani said he is “lucky” he receives income from other businesses, although he works full-time as a pharmacist.

The next stage will be staff cuts, he added. If that happens “the car will have to be down to one wheel rather than four, it won't be safe”. The pharmacy is “running on fumes”, he said.

“Every time I attend a RPS meeting I'm losing money”

Wainwright’s Chemist is largely dependent on 13 NHS-commissioned services, including tests for hepatitis, blood glucose and cholesterol, he said.

It is difficult for him to leave the pharmacy at any time because other staff and available locums are not qualified to conduct the tests: “Every time I attend a RPS meeting I'm losing money.”

“In the past, whenever we've had claw-backs and we've argued that independents are disadvantaged, we've been told it's swings and roundabouts. We're usually on the wrong ones.”

Mr Dajani’s pharmacy is in a “very needy village” with “social inequality”. His pharmacy’s work is “NHS-heavy”, as there is little demand for private services, and if “we close down, the patients will be even more deprived”, he said.

He applied for the “near-miss” review process for the Pharmacy Access Scheme in December 2016. However, he has not yet had a reply from the Department of Health, despite having asked three times for a response.

"I've got my tin hat on and I'm going to try and weather the storm," he added.

This article was updated on June 9 at the request of the interviewee.

How is your pharmacy coping with the funding cuts?

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