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Pharmacy Voice: Cuts campaign has made little impact on Burt

Alistair Burt appears undeterred by the parliamentary debate

Chief executive Rob Darracott is sceptical about whether the government has been swayed by opposition to the funding cuts


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.

Consultation aftermath

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


Are you hopeful Alistair Burt will change his mind? 

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John Randell, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

i did mention not so long ago when the petition was nothing but a few thousand that this would never work.....i remember saying "dont you think the doctors have tried petitions and have been lead to strike" the only way is strikes am afraid you could get a 60 million petition but that process is a democratic dream.....this is not a perfect democracy.....

Farm Assistant, Community pharmacist

BREXIT and spend the savings on pharmacy! Listen the kids are shafted whatever the outcome.

Tony Schofield, Community pharmacist

He is an intelligent man and has a lot to consider. He won't say anything until the consultation has been digested. However, they need the cuts because of their obsession with austerity and their complete ignorance of any value we add. This has come from the treasury, not Burt but I'm hopeful that as H&S has been binned there is a compromise to be found


Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

It may well no difference, but it is good to show some resistance to government policy. Essentially the government is moribund, as Michael Portillo commented this is a government that does not know what to do and has done nothing. The 'deficit' is still in place and its reduction is an illusionary smoke and mirrors act. The country is being put through an unnecessary referendum that didn't need to happen while the real issues in the country such as collapse of the NHS and other public services crumble into the ground. A Brexit or Remain result will make no difference to the lifes of ordinary people as we'll be shafted in or out.

Antony Sallis, Pharmacy

In my opinion every pharmacist is happy about the forthcoming cuts, as previous comments show the government will introduce the cuts whatever our 1.8 million petitioners think, - otherwise we could all vote to leave the EU, -vote of no confidence in the government- they get kicked out, the cuts get shelved - will this happen? Well i'm not holding my breath

Ebers Papyrus, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Symptomatic of a government with no opposition and a chancellor hell bent on getting his way. Look at the aggressive stance Osborne is taking on Brexit, he has lost the plot. Stevens and Burt are yes men and wouldn’t dare rock the boat and Ridge is happy to hide in the corner.

Dave Downham, Manager

I'm no lover of Osborne, but he is having to be aggressive to underline the extent of the folly a Brexit would be just so Johnson can satisfy his own personal ego and become prime minister. I don't know the facts re possible Brexit, but choosing on personality; Gove/Johnson/Farage/Icke/Chegwin/Trump/Kim Jong Un v everyone with half a brain and sense of reality

Dave Downham, Manager

Sorry, missed out Joey Essex as well as a Brexiter.

Brian Austen, Senior Management

There is only one reason Osborne is threatening the voters before next Thursdays vote and that is if there is Brexit he will lose his job and will never get the chance to lead the Tories and become Prime Minister. He is having his Liberal Democrat moment for the Conservatives. He has shown he is willing to break election manifesto pledges on tax and will therefore lose the public confidence in the future. He and Cameron are both lame ducks now and the referendum has possibly done long-term damage to his political party.

Ebers Papyrus, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I hope we remain but the kind of  blackmailing stance Cameron (pensions) and Osborne (high taxes) have taken could well be counter productive.

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