Pharmacy Voice thinks the campaign against the funding cuts has not "made much impact" on the pharmacy minister.
Despite "exceptional" attendance from MPs at a parliamentary debate against the cuts last month, the lobbying group's chief executive Rob Darracott said he fears minister Alistair Burt has not been swayed from cutting pharmacy funding in England by £170 million in October.
“From what the minister said in the debate, I don’t think what has happened to date has been making much impact on him,” Mr Darracott told C+D in an exclusive interview on Monday (June 13).
The debate in question was held after pharmacy representatives and politicians joined forces to hand in a petition against the cuts, signed by 1.8 million people and timed to coincide with the final day of a government consultation on the sector's funding.
Mr Darracott said he “would like to think” the government will take longer to explore the responses to this consultation.
Mr Burt announced last week that the Department of Health has stalled its hub-and-spoke plans while it takes account of concerns raised by respondents to a related consultation. However, Mr Darccott stressed that there is no reason to assume the government will take the same approach with its funding consultation.
Cuts do not stimulate efficiences
The “massive cut” hanging over the sector has not helped the profession to think about improving its efficiency and effectiveness, as the government intends, Mr Darracott told C+D.
“I do think there might be a better basis to have this conversation [about efficiencies],” he added. “It doesn’t start with £170m less [funding] in October.”
Read the NPA chair Ian Strachan's comment for C+D on why the funding cuts petition is only the start