A C+D poll on the predicted impact of the forthcoming cuts to pharmacy funding in England has revealed a “lose-lose situation” for pharmacists, according to Avicenna’s CEO.
Fifty-three per cent of 159 respondents to a poll, which ran on the C+D website in collaboration with Avicenna from May 5-10, said the extra pressure of reduced funding was most likely to affect services provided by their pharmacy
A further 16% of respondents said they fear losing their jobs, while 23% said they expect to keep their jobs, but will look for work outside of community pharmacy. Just 8% said they do not expect the cuts to affect their pharmacy in any way.
Avicenna CEO Salim Jetha – who presented the poll results at the independent support group’s conference in Mauritius – said they represent a “lose-lose situation” for the sector.
“It makes me boil with anger. It’s a disgrace,” he told delegates yesterday (May 30).
Contractors share their views
Keerti Kanani, owner of Cranston Ltd in Thornton Heath in south London, said pressure from the funding cuts meant her pharmacy might have to stop providing its smoking cessation service.
“Hopefully NHS England will realise that those services will provide more financial sense for patient care in the long-term,” she told C+D.
Other contractors were confident they could safeguard their services. Dilip Chauhan, owner of Benjamin Cory Ltd in north London, told C+D his pharmacy will continue to prioritise services despite the cuts.
“We should be focusing on services more, engaging with patients more and adding value to the medication that they have,” he said.
Gam Amar, owner Allesley pharmacy in Coventry, said the only way his services were likely to be impacted is if they were decommissioned. He will continue to try to provide more services in order to “try and get a value put on what we’ve been doing for the last 10 years,” he added.
Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Ash Soni told delegates that it is important for pharmacies to continue to offer services if they have been commissioned.
“You’ve got to deliver them because that’s the expectation. If we’re not doing that, we are failing our patients, he said.
“Tough times ahead”
Mr Jetha warned that the coming months will result in “really tough times” for the sector. He estimated that the cuts will cost pharmacies £15,000-17,000 in their first year, with that figure rising to £25,000 over the next two years.
While Mr Jetha told delegates that the risk the funding cuts pose to his business “hurts a lot”, he stressed that putting the jobs of his staff in jeopardy “hurts more”.
He estimates that if the government’s suggestion of up to 3,000 closures comes to pass, 15,000 jobs are at stake.
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