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Funding cut delayed, David Mowat announces

The pharmacy minister could not confirm the new schedule for the cuts

The government's proposed £170 million cut to pharmacy funding in England is to be delayed beyond October, the pharmacy minister has announced.

In a pre-recorded video address to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) annual conference in Birmingham this morning (September 5), David Mowat said the delay was to make sure the Department of Health (DH) was making the “correct decision” for the sector, the NHS and the public.

The DH has been considering the results of its consultation on pharmacy funding for “some while”, said Mr Mowat who could not confirm when the next steps for the cuts would be announced.

"That's all I can say at the moment, but clearly we want not to be implementing a change from October, which was our initial target," he told the conference. 

The minister said he is keen to “work closely with the pharmacy profession” and added there is “no question” the sector has a “major contribution” to make to the health service.

He described the principles set out in the recently published Community Pharmacy Forward View as “spot on”, and labelled the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) petition against the cuts “an accolade” to the way pharmacy is “regarded amongst communities”.

Addressing decriminalisation

Mr Mowat also mentioned the decriminalisation of dispensing errors and pledged the DH would "make progress with that".

Sandra Gidley, chair of the RPS's English pharmacy board, said she was “heartened” that a second look was being taken at the proposed funding cuts, and that the minister recognises the “strength of public feeling on the issue”. 

Ms Gidley told the conference that the society had hoped Mr Mowat would attend in person, but the minister had cited the recent government reshuffle as the reason for making a pre-recorded statement.


What is your reaction to the delay in implementing the cuts?

Graham Phillips, Superintendent Pharmacist

This is good but not excellent news. #pharmacuts only delayed NOT cancelled at this stage. We MUST maintain the pressure. What we, the "foot-soldiers" CANNOT afford to do is stand aside and assume the national pharmacy bodies can fight this battle on all our behalves while we stand apathetic and silent. If you haven't been in touch with your local MP and Counsellors why not? And if you have? Do so again with renewed energy , but be constructive. Be like our medical colleagues and don't take "no" for an answer

thepharmacist Forever!, Pharmacist Director


Could this be due to the phenominal pressure on the government due to the significant strikes planned from the junior doctors?



Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Has the world just stopped turning?? A faintly positive news story!! Who saw that one coming?

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Probably a delay in the process due to inefficiencies at the DoH and people being on their summer holidays more than anything else! I wouldn't get my hopes up. When have they ever listened to pharmacy?

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

I've only just noticed....the initials of the Department of Health kind of sum them up.

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Common sense and a breath of fresh air. With a sensible dialogue we can look at areas where pharmacy can resolve NHS problems.

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