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78 pharmacies rejected for cuts protection as window closes

NHS England: Pharmacy Access Scheme criteria were "very clearly laid out"

NHS England has rejected all 78 of the applications received so far from pharmacies requesting financial protection from the funding cuts, C+D has learned.

The Pharmacy Access 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 window to apply for the “near miss” review process under the Pharmacy Access Scheme closed on Tuesday (February 28), with the exception of pharmacies claiming that a "physical feature anomaly", for example a semi-permanent road or bridge closure, means that the nearest pharmacy is in fact more than a mile away.

NHS England began accepting applications for the “near miss” process in November and said it would aim to complete a review within six weeks. 

In January, the commissioner confirmed it had rejected each of the 54 applications it had reviewed so far.

NHS England confirmed to C+D this week that 78 pharmacies have now received letters informing them they do not meet the application criteria.

The remaining applications are still under consideration and will be responded to as soon as possible, it added.

An NHS England spokesperson said the criteria for pharmacies to receive funding “were very clearly laid out” when the scheme was first announced in October last year.

“The document is quite clear that NHS England’s role is to administer the review process in line with the published criteria,” they stressed.

Have you been rejected for the Pharmacy Access Scheme?

ben stokes, Student

we are our own worst enermy...dont look at the gvernment....why provide free collection/delivery/dossette boxes/marr sheets/audits/and the list goes on...

the profession remained stagnant for decades relying solely on rxs for revenue....

ACTs can do what we do....thats a fact whether u like it or not

Jaipreet Johal, Superintendent Pharmacist


I applied for the pharmacy access scheme funding and was rejected 12 weeks later (not 6 as promised) on the grounds that the nearest "community pharmacy" to me was the local "hospital pharmacy" which is less than a mile away. The hospital pharmacy doesn't  provide any enhanced or advanced services, mediboxes, supervised consumption or delivery, they don't fall under the community pharmacy contract monitoring framework yet for the purposes of the pharmacy access scheme the department of health classes the hospital pharmacy as a community pharmacy.

Gursaran Matharu, Community pharmacist

The other scandal is NHS England and CAPITA being unable to sort Pre-Reg, PURM and other payments to pharmacists and the PM wants to reform payments to the sector. Perhaps getting payments right would be a good start!

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