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Burt dodges question on rural-urban pharmacy debate

Alistair Burt: Government consulting on Pharmacy Access Scheme

The pharmacy minister did not clarify how urban pharmacies in deprived areas would be protected in the face of funding cuts

The pharmacy minister has failed to address whether the Department of Health (DH) has considered the impact funding cuts could have on rural and urban pharmacies.

Conservative MP for Lincoln Karl McCartney used a written question to ask Alistair Burt whether the DH took rural and urban deprivation into account when devising the new model of community pharmacy funding.  

In his response on Wednesday (May 4), Mr Burt said the government’s aim is to ensure that the introduction of a Pharmacy Access Scheme allows the community pharmacies that people rely upon to “continue to thrive”. The fund will “provide more NHS funds to certain pharmacies”, considering factors such as location and local health needs, he added.

Mr Burt did not give any new information about how the DH will decide which pharmacies receive more funding. Instead, he stressed that all the government's proposals for pharmacy are being considered against the public sector equality duty (meaning public bodies have to consider all individuals when carrying out their work), with an impact assessment to be "published in due course".

London pharmacies at risk

Pharmacy London warned earlier this week that the Pharmacy Access Scheme may not address the health inequalities and multiculturalism in London.

The organisation's chief executive Rekha Shah said the government’s aim to remove funding for "clusters" of pharmacies would not work in London, where groupings of pharmacies are needed “because of what they offer” in terms of services and different languages. 

In negotiation papers published by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) last month (April 28), the DH said it could not predict which pharmacies would qualify for the access scheme, but said it would develop a national formula to help them choose. 

 


Do you think urban or rural pharmacies will be more at risk of funding cuts? 

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3 Comments

P M, Community pharmacist

why is not the esp lps criteria being used - worked well,  helped keep small pharmacies open - provided a good distrubtion of pharmacies ( at least 1km from another pharmacy) and allowed easy access to people in rural areas also it was cheap to run.

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

Mr Burt did not give any new information about how the DH will decide which pharmacies receive more funding. Instead, he stressed that all the government's proposals for pharmacy are being considered against the public sector equality duty (meaning public bodies have to consider all individuals when carrying out their work), with an impact assessment to be "published in due course".

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Mr Burt,

I have some bad news for you. The proposals WILL FAIL any honest equality impact assessment as it dispropotionately affects urban areas and ethnically operated pharmacies. This is a fact and any honest equality impact assessment will pick this up.

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The DoH has for a long long time had its eye on London pharmacies and it has to date failed to execute its desire to shut them down.

 

With Keith Ridge, a CPO who has never worked in comunity pharmacy, has never engaged with grass root community PHARMACISTS and has shown little by way of leadership in putting together a Global Sum package that would ensure the survival of small pharmacies and deny the off shore multiples from dominating pharmacy with huge swathes of England having local area monopolies with only one pharmacy in operation.

 

 

Pharmacy HLP, Manager

Always a  good idea to plan after acting. Dont know who will be impacted the most it may not be the pharmacy that is needed the most or perhaps it will be. Quality of service , staff training and contentment of patients  is not being measured just whoever can provide the cheapest offering will continue to do so.

Press 1, if you want it delivered today , press 2 if you wanted it yesterday but were at a hospital appointment, press 3 if you couldnt get  to the door. sorry I missed that please call again.......

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