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16 pharmacies get their protection from the cuts revoked

The Department of Health said the pharmacies were "included in error"

Sixteen pharmacies will no longer be receiving financial protection from the pharmacy funding cuts, C+D has learned.

The Department of Health (DH) had included 16 pharmacies “in error” in its original list of 1,356 businesses which will receive top-up funding under the Pharmacy Access Scheme, it confirmed to C+D yesterday (November 9).

The scheme is designed to protect pharmacies which are situated a mile or more from another pharmacy by road from the “full effect” of the cuts – as long as they are not in the top 25% best-performing businesses according to dispensing volume.

The DH did not reveal the names of the pharmacies – which it removed from the list on November 3 – but said it is informing them that they have been taken off the list.

These consisted of "local pharmaceutical services" pharmacies – which have separate contractual arrangements to community pharmacy– and distance-selling pharmacies, which the DH confirmed are not eligible for the scheme.

“Patients do not access services from distance-selling pharmacies in the same way as they do from bricks-and-mortar pharmacies – ie they do not physically travel to distance-selling pharmacies to receive services,” the DH said.

The DH will not be conducting any further "validation exercises" to check that the pharmacies remaining on the list deserve to be there, it stressed.

You can view the updated list of pharmacies eligible for the scheme here.

Do you deserve the funding?

The DH has introduced a “near miss” process to review pharmacies that did not initially qualify for the Pharmacy Access Scheme, but are affected by factors that could limit patient access.

It will also take into account any inaccuracies it made in calculating which pharmacies qualified for the access scheme, as well as pharmacies in particularly deprived areas that almost qualified for it. The latter group will cover pharmacies in the 20% most deprived areas of England, which are situated 0.8 miles from another pharmacy.

The DH told C+D yesterday that these reviews will be “handled on a case-by-case basis as they arrive”. However, it would not confirm how many applications for reviews it had received so far.

These pharmacies will each receive an average of £2,900 per month between December 2016 and March 2017, and £1,500 per month between April 2017 and March 2018. The DH will consider whether or not to provide further funding beyond this date.

NHS England began accepting applications for review on November 1. The application form can be downloaded from here and sent to [email protected]

Are you applying for your pharmacy to receive the funding protection?

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

I think before you start bashing pharmacy as being owned by multiples who syphon their profits to foreign soil, please remember that 1) MANY pharmacies are owned by small companies, often family run for generations. 2) "Fat cat" multiples will simply move their investment elsewhere. 3)These pharmacies may be owned by multiples but are manned and operated by local people, who are likely to lose their livelyhood 4) You, as the patient, will ultimately be the loser as you will have to travel further to get medicines or advice, or wait longer to see your GP, due the reduction in pharmacies.

Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

Typical scaremongering to maintain the status quo. Stop all these lies please.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

You seem to have a major issue with pharmacy and yet are not a pharmacist. Were you attacked by a pharmacy as a child???

S Pessina, Pharmacist Director

Thats a bit personal .

Sarah Smythe, Information Technology

Sorry Stephen , don't accept that old tired indoctrinated arguement . Pharmacy is changing, it needs to change and if the multiples want to invest elsewhere , let them go . I am all for independant or family ( uk) owned pharmacies and they should be protected where the community needs them, but I won;t shed a tear for the big boys vanishing. As for local peoples jobs, come on , most pharmacies have a pharmacist a one member of staff now , so who you kidding ???  Yourself?

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

The problem with that argument is that if the multiples fold or pull out then there will be THOUSANDS of good hard working people completely mucked up. And why do so many non-pharmacy people feel they can have a pop at us? 

S Pessina, Pharmacist Director

If you don't know the answer to your last point, that says it all. Pharmacists don't want to fight for their existence, just come on here and moan. write to your MP. NHS england, etc--- go everywhere else and kick up a fuss too. You may be surprised.


Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

I'm guessing you are quite new to the profession?

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

It is usually the 'be careful what you wish for - it will be your wages and your jobs'.

What has it come to, both at a professional and personal level, when pharmacists premise their arguments on threats to another's livelihood. 

Abandon reason, jettison evidence, reject equity - weaponise fear.

John Dow, Advertising

Shaun, having read your past posts on various subjects , you've shown that you obviously are down to earth and understand how things work. But as you has stated before, pharmacist are "bedwetters" and have gone along with being good people for years in the hope the government will throw them a bone.  It doesn,t work that way now, times are changing and pharmacy jobs will go.

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Agreed. Everything that has passed is irreversible, we are  now talking as obituarists. Many people would therefore argue any discussion to be pointless and with respect to misusing ones own time, they might be correct. It is, however, curiously interesting to get the facts right. 

But why is it that whenever an employee produces a legitimate criticism of community pharmacy funding the near automatic response 'it will be your job/wages on the line' is fired off by a contractor? Is that all they have got? Threats? Retribution? Punishment?

John Dow, Advertising

Shaun, agree with you entirely, it always results in threats etc. As you guys cannot revoke whats happen, it would be prudent to be a lot more vociferous , volatile and feisty ( although thats not normally a pharmacist trait apart from on here ) --and not roll over. There must be a way for you pharmacists to be more cohesive because the bullets been fired , you can see it coming and you,ve got nothing to lose.   Even Sue Sharpe says you're doormats.

Sarah Smythe, Information Technology

Liz is right . Why protect the fat cat big boys , after all most pharmacies are multiple owned and they make millions in profit which goes straight out the country.

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

Aaahhhh, so the work experience student made a boo boo!  This omnishambles just gets more and more chaotic...

Liz Jones,

Well the motor industry, steel industry, engineering companies etc never got funding protection, so why should pharmacy .?????

The fat cats want to keep getting fatter, so stop this nonsense, sink or swim like everyone else.

Matt G, Community pharmacist

Losing this fuding helps the "fat cats" as it means smaller rural pharmacies may have to close, while their footfall then increases as a result. The pharmacy I use, an independantly owned small village pharmacy, is not capable of recieving the volume of prescriptions required to be viable, but is vital to many of the elderly local residents. 

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

The so-called fat cats will be the last ones to go under, not the first. Most of the postings on here (by non-pharmacy people it seems) don't get it. The heart of COMMUNITY pharmacy will be ripped out and all that will be left is the corporate industrial scale pharmacy and all the rubbish that comes with it. I've said it before and I'll say it again, pharmacy is on a slow slide to obscurity and irrelevance

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