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DH defends funding cuts following ‘mystery campaign’ by pharmacies

The government published a justification of its funding cuts in response to a mysterious “campaign” from independent pharmacies, C+D has learned.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) published what it described as a “response” to “an independent local pharmacy campaign” on its website last month (February 13). The statement justified the cuts to the sector’s funding in England as “making an important contribution” to its target of £22 billion “efficiency savings”.

There are 1,500 more community pharmacies in England “than there were 10 years ago”, said the DH, and added that “88% of the population are within a 20-minute walk of a community pharmacy”.

Responding to “a few letters”

The DH told C+D that it published the statement in response to “a few letters from different independent pharmacies with no return address”.

“We didn’t address the response to any group in particular because it’s a mystery as to who was organising the campaign,” it added.

The DH would not reveal exactly how many letters it had received, and would not share an example with C+D.

In its statement, the DH also claimed it had “encouraged greater use of community pharmacy by working to integrate pharmaceutical services with the rest of the NHS”, citing the Stay Well This Winter campaign and its work “integrating community pharmacy into urgent care pathways” as examples.

“Pharmacies will continue to be trusted partners in a world-class NHS,” it added.

Read the full DH response here.

Did you write to the DH about the pharmacy funding cuts?

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