Speaking to C+D during a National Pharmacy Association (NPA) leaflet drop in Burford, Oxfordshire earlier this month (October 7), Cedric Reavley of Reavley’s Pharmacy (see box out) said he would “hate” to scrap services such as the provision of dosette boxes, at-home deliveries and palliative care, as a result of expected funding cuts.
“Although we are trying to meet the demands of patients and meet the various targets the government is setting us… if it wasn’t for the one-mile radius of dispensing we operate in, I don’t know if this business would survive as a pharmacy,” Mr Reavley said.
Mr Reavley explained that the area’s clinical commissioning group seem “interested” in continuing to pay for the palliative care service his pharmacy provides. “How that will be funded in the future, I don’t know,” he said.
Mr Reavley was speaking a week before the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee rejected the government's plans to slash pharmacy funding in England by 12% for December 2016 until March 2017. At the same time, the government announced the launch of a 'Pharmacy Urgent Care' pilot programme, which will allow patients who call NHS 111 for urgent repeat medication to be directed straight to a community pharmacist, instead of out-of-hours GP surgeries.
During the leaflet drop, NPA head of communications Stephen Fishwick told C+D the NPA had "made it [its] business" to clarify public understanding around the funding cuts. The NPA has since described (October 14) government plans urgent care plans as a "smoke screen" for the looming funding cuts.
Adina Josephs, pharmacy manager of Frosts Pharmacy in Banbury – who joined C+D on the NPA’s campaign trail – said when Mr Mowat first announced the funding cuts were on hold, she hired three members of staff.
Ms Josephs said at the time that she was nervously waiting to hear what the funding “package” will have in store for community pharmacy.