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GPs eye surgery pharmacies despite 100-hour demise

Business The abolition of 100-hour regulations has not spelled the end of GP applications for pharmacies, legal firm Charles Russell partner Noel Wardle has warned.

The removal of the 100-hour exemption has failed to stem the tide of GP interest in opening surgery pharmacies.

Despite industry experts forecasting that the new control of entry regulations that came into force on September 1 would halt applications for GP-owned pharmacies, Charles Russell partner Noel Wardle said July's abolition of the 100-hour control of entry exemption had not caused any change in the number of queries.

The new market entry tests will require applicants to convince PCTs that there is an "unmet need" in the area that could be resolved by opening a new pharmacy.

New market entry tests will require applicants to prove there is an "unmet need" in the area that could be resolved by opening a new pharmacy

More on 100 hours

FAQ: Farewell, 100 hours

Control of entry: what the changes mean for you

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MedicX chief executive Steve Jeffers said any queries about opening surgery pharmacies were likely to be a "hangover" from 100-hour applications made before the cut-off point and argued that PCTs would be unlikely to grant any more applications in the current economic climate.

"The NHS has got to save money and it doesn't want to invest in new premises," Mr Jeffers told C+D. He added that the same principle would apply to new health centre openings, which have formed a large part of MedicX's pharmacy network.

"At the moment there's no desire to commit to long-term expenditure on big, shiny, new buildings unless the business case is absolutely obvious and it will save them money immediately, as well as in the long term," he argued.

The comments were echoed by North-East London LPC secretary Hemant Patel. "I can't see why any PCT would want to grant a contract that's going to cost them money," he said. "At this particular time, they're so concerned about money that they won't."

The Independent Pharmacy Federation (IPF) said it would keep an eye out for new surgery pharmacies opening. The organisation had previously reported that GPs were threatening to open 100-hour pharmacies unless they received "financial incentives" for contractors or they agreed to move their business into the surgery.

"There are still some 100-hour applications for surgery pharmacies that are going through from previous approvals," said IPF chief executive Claire Ward. "Whether or not they will try alternative ways of getting pharmacies into the surgeries I don't know, but I think it's something we need to monitor."

Find out what the end of the 100-hour exemption means for you.

Are you aware of any lingering threat of a surgery pharmacy in your area?

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[email protected], Non healthcare professional

There has been general lethargy in the profession with many not willing to take on the changes that have been imposed on us since the 2005. This has created an opportunity for doctors. Pharmacists are great at whinging and this is no exception. 100 hour contracts may be history but this is going to turn the current proposition on its head.
A quotation that comes to mind:

“I love tackling lazy industries.” —Richard Branson

A P, Community pharmacist

OMG, why can't Doctors stick to what they're good at......being Doctors.

Keith Sykes, Community pharmacist

Because some of them aren't very good at that

Arun Bains, Community pharmacist

I think some patients and doctors are responding to the decline in service from pharmacists as a whole.

Danny TheRed, Community pharmacist

Amazing post, not even a pharmacist and you feel qualified to make that statement! In my time as a pharmacist, certainly in my own practice, I have seen standards of patient care improve.

Rajive Patel, Community pharmacist

I dont think PCT's will entertain opportunistic GP's looking for new contracts. I think they will have an opportunity later if they can prove unmet local needs. Ultimately it will boil down to the new NHS CB Local Teams and the PNA developed and formulated jointly between H&WB and NHS CB LAT in the scope of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

Rajive Patel, Community pharmacist

Ultimately I think all contractors need to weigh up how they contribute above and beyond to achieving local health targets. This is the only way they can protect themselves. Also, one needs to understand that a GP Practice does not simply need to look at Pharmacy for GAP in provision, they need to look at all local providers. Therefore, if a pharmacy is not meeting local needs, but another provider is, then the GP Practice cannot automatically assume they will be awarded a pharmacy contract.

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