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Keith Ridge: 'I get the frustration' over closures

Keith Ridge: Market will decide which pharmacies remain open

England's chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge says he "recognises how difficult" it is for contractors facing closure because of government funding cuts

EXCLUSIVE

England's chief pharmaceutical officer has claimed he understands "how difficult it is" for contractors facing closure because of government funding cuts.

Keith Ridge told C+D that he "gets the frustration" of owners that could be forced to close their pharmacies because of the 6% cut to the global sum in England

"It's really hard, my dad had his own business," Mr Ridge said yesterday (February 2).

Pharmacy minister Alistair Burt admitted last month that between 1,000 and 3,000 pharmacies could close because of the cut, planned for October. In a C+D poll last month, one in five readers said their pharmacy could face closure.

Mr Ridge, who initially announced the cut in an open letter to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) in December, told C+D "the market will decide" how many pharmacies remain open. 

"People will make estimates, but one way or another it will ultimately be [up to] the market," he said.

How government reached the 6% figure

Mr Ridge was vague when asked how the government had settled on the 6% cut to the global sum in England.

"A discussion involv[ing] a lot of people in the context of the [government's] spending review eventually came to that figure. I recognise the consequences, but it’s a very thorough process," he said.

 


Is your pharmacy at risk of closure because of the funding cut?

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63 Comments

Stephen Walsh, Community pharmacist

That's all right then Keith, as long as you get it.

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

What the DoH proposes is actually illegal. A smart lawyer will be able to stop it happening. There is a mechanism for this to be taken to judicial review and to prevent it happening.

BUT, the problem is that the PSNC will NOT want to use it nor will the large corporate contractors as they are assuming they will come out of it as "winners".

Stephen Walsh, Community pharmacist

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