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‘No final decision’ made on funding cut, says government

Exclusive
Department of Health claims it worked collaboratively with PSNC over funding plans

Ministers are still considering whether to implement the 12% cut to pharmacy funding, according to the Department of Health (DH).

“No final decision has been taken” on the proposed funding "package" for the sector, a DH spokesperson told C+D last Friday (October 14).

The DH spoke to C+D after the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) rejected the government's proposals to slash pharmacy funding in England by 12% for December 2016 until March 2017.

"Preposterous" proposals

In a letter sent to the DH’s head of pharmacy Jeannette Howe last week (October 13), PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe Sharpe said the decision to give pharmacists just six weeks’ notice to prepare for a 12% cut to their funding is “preposterous”, and the government’s proposals “were and remain, founded on ignorance”.

Ms Sharpe also said there had been “no real consultation” around the funding package between the two parties.

However, the DH told C+D it had “worked collaboratively” with PSNC and had “listened to [its] suggestions and counter proposals”.

“We are committed to offering more help to those pharmacies people most depend on‎ compared to others,” the DH spokesperson added.

The DH also told C+D that the government aims to “modernise the pharmacy sector”. “That's why we are investing £112m to deliver a further 1,500 pharmacists in general practice by 2020,” it said.

A leaked document shared with C+D on Sunday (October 16) revealed that just one in 10 pharmacies in England will be given financial support as part of the government’s planned fund to provide relief from the cuts.

Three days earlier, the National Pharmacy Association said government plans to allow pharmacists to supply emergency medication without GP approval were a "smoke screen" for the funding cuts.

Result

Which of your pharmacy's services may you have to reconsider if the funding cut goes ahead?
Medicine deliveries to patients' homes
39%
Preparing blister packs
19%
Filling dosette boxes/MDS
29%
Other services
6%
None - our services will not be affected by the cuts
8%
Total votes: 155
7 Comments
Question: 
How will the planned cuts affect your pharmacy?

Jaz Kaur, Pharmacy

Ooooooooh. Strong words from Sue Sharpe.    I bet they're quaking in their boots , same as everytime she speaks ( NOT ).

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

Announced as an imposition a few minutes ago.  Try this link: http://psnc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/PSNC-Briefing-057.16-Funding-imposition-for-2016-17-–-Information-for-Contractors.pdf

 

Grumpy Pharm, Community pharmacist

If you get the chance read the transcript of yesterdays parliamentary debate. Mowat either cannot tell the difference between community pharmacy and working for GPs, and their separate funding streams, or is already ramping up the spin for an imminent imposition!

Dodo pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Can you believe we have a pharmacy minister who is that thick he doesn't know the difference between a community pharmacy and a pharmacist. He thinks that the former can easily be replaced by the latter, working in a GP's surgery. It beggars belief. It would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic.Keith Ridge has the same view and has to be blamed for all of this. He is not fit to hold his office and must be removed.

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Until now, pharmacy is an independent profession, but there is every chance that can change, if pharmacists are based in GP surgeries and abandon their traditional supply role. Pharmacy will then become a dependent (on GPs) role, not sure if the word "profession" will continue to be appropriate.

Grumpy Pharm, Community pharmacist

What rot, how does paying GPs to employ practice pharmacists help modernise pharmacy provision! Typical, funds for GP forward view are taken from us in DHs view, as they say this comes from ignorance.

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Exactly. So towns up and down the land lose their community pharmacies but are compensated by having a pharmacist in the GP practice! Absolute nonsense.

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