The government’s plan to cut pharmacy funding in England by 6% will drive down locum rates, a leading finance expert has predicted.
The planned cuts – which will see the global sum slashed by at least £170 million in October – will “inevitably put downward pressure” on rates as contractors look to make savings, according to Sebastian Miles, head of pharmacy at funding provider Shawbrook Bank.
Locum rates will "not necessarily" drop until the cuts arrive, he told C+D on Wednesday (January 6).
Pharmacists took to Twitter to agree with Mr Miles' comments.
@CandDSamuel Most flexible and least protected sector - always first to feel any pinch.— Joe Bush (@josephbush) January 6, 2016
@CandDSamuel locums will be better of getting benefits than working as pharmacists. Staff hr cuts will risk patient safety.— Hassan Khan (@healthwisepha) January 6, 2016
Sector shares the pain
The funding drop will also “put a lot more pressure” on medicines suppliers to “reduce their margins a little bit”, Mr Miles said.
“I think everybody in pharmacy is going to have to share the pain,” he added.
An online petition urging the government to scrap the planned cuts had gained more than 9,900 signatures at time of going to press. The government will have to respond to the petition if more than 10,000 people sign the document.
You can sign the petition here.
Last January, C+D revealed locum rates were the lowest in seven years.
More on the cuts...