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DH ‘closely monitoring’ pharmacy closures in light of funding cuts

DH: All but three of the closed pharmacies are located within a mile of another pharmacy
DH: All but three of the closed pharmacies are located within a mile of another pharmacy

The government has told C+D it is “closely” monitoring the impact of pharmacy closures on services, in light of its cuts to the funding budget in England.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) made the comments yesterday (July 19), in response to C+D’s exclusive investigation – which revealed for the first time the locations of all the pharmacies that have closed in the wake of the funding cuts in England.

C+D’s analysis of government data identified that 140 community pharmacies closed across England between November 2016 – the month before the 12% funding cut came into force – and May 2018.

C+D’s investigation also found that over a quarter – 28% – of the pharmacies that have closed since the cuts hit were in the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. 

Still “good access to pharmaceutical services”

A DH spokesperson told C+D that it – in partnership with NHS England – monitors pharmacy openings and closures to “measure any impact on service provision”.

The DH said that with the exceptions of three pharmacies, those that have closed are all located within a mile of another pharmacy.

“The vast majority of closures have been in areas that are closely served by more than one pharmacy and there remains good access to pharmaceutical services,” it added.

In April 2016, the DH acknowledged in an unpublished impact assessment that pharmacy closures would have a “disproportionate effect on deprived communities”.

Read the full story on the locations of the 140 pharmacies that have closed since the cuts hit here

A separate C+D analysis has revealed that a quarter of the closed pharmacies are in the most deprived areas of the country. Read the full story here.

View C+D’s interactive map below to see the location of each of the 140 pharmacy closures. To view the map in a new window, click here.


Have any pharmacies closed in your area recently?

Arvind Sami, Locum pharmacist

This reminds of Simpsons episode. Bart goes a building auction and buys a factory. He hires Milhouse as the night watchmen. The building collapses, and then in the morning, Bart asks Milhouse what happened. Milhouse said he did watch, he watched it fall down

Peter Sainsburys, Community pharmacist

Closely monitoring means doing nothing, nor do they intend to.

A.S. Singh, Community pharmacist

meanwhile those pharmacies doing 5k items and less are selling like hotcakes mostly to naive wannabe business owners thinking they can pull a profit. Why would the DH think that the cuts have affected pharmacies when they have only to go to Christies website which is currently boasting how many sales are being made.

Dave Downham, Manager

No, they're not.

Dave Downham, Manager

Anyone calculated loss of revenue to public purse from loss of business rates, corporation tax on all that "excessive profit", loss of income to utilities companies impact in landlords of having to find subprime tenants, salad sandwiches bought from local cafe, coffee from corner shop, extra 140 x 5 = 700 staff roles gone increasing availability and so potential local oversupply, reduced need for locums putting downward pressure on their rates etc etc.

Sue Per, Locum pharmacist

There will be no nett loss, there will always be another business that will replace the pharmacy that has closed.Only the pharmacist may suffer, and the future looks bleak for them. Time to acquire a new set of skills. Brickie @ £30.00 p.h., Gas safe engineer @ £60.00 P.H. and niceic electrician  @ £60.00 p.h. No need to attend university and start working life with a debt of 60K++.

Pharmacy R.I.P.


P M, Community pharmacist

thats real sad sue

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I don't think anyone is really criticising them of their monitoring capabilities. Meanwhile, I suspect contractors will be monitoring their bank accounts closely to spot any signs of life.

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

I wonder, are they still distancing themselves from Mr Burt's 3000 claim?

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

Of course they're closely monitoring the situation; 140 down, 2860 to go...

Delectable Skeptic, Community pharmacist

Probably cracking open a bottle of Moet with every 100th closure, I'd expect.

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

Moet?  They're not slumming it with that hogwash, darling...

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