UPDATE: The government has announced plans to cut pharmacy funding by 6% next year. Click here for the full story.
NHS England will cut the overall budget through which it funds community pharmacy by 3% over the next five years.
The £6.68 billion budget for direct commissioning – which is used to fund the global sums for community pharmacy, dentistry, ophthalmology services, and public health – will fall 0.6% to £6.64bn next year, the commissioning body revealed this morning (December 17).
The budget will drop to £6.46bn by 2020-21 – 3% lower than it is now, it said.
NHS England told C+D it will have "more details" on the impact of the cuts on community pharmacy later this afternoon.
C+D has also received unconfirmed reports this week that the community pharmacy global sum – which currently stands at £2.8bn – will be cut as part of the 2016-17 funding settlement.
See the table below for full details of changes to NHS England's direct commissioning budget:
|2015-16 allocation||2016-17 allocation||2017-18 allocation||2018-19 allocation||2019-20 allocation||2020-21 allocation|
Alongside the changes, NHS England announced that it will boost its funding for general practice "at a higher rate than for other health services", increasing its spend by between 4% and 5.4% each year for the next five years.
Every clinical commissioning group (CCG) will also get a real-terms budget increase, it added.
PSNC was unavailable to comment on NHS England's announcement.