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Lloyds and PSNC issue funding warning over Boots service

Cormac Tobin: NHS England must mot tinker with the pharmacy budget to fund the Boots service

The pharmacy budget must not be used to fund the national roll-out of Boots' sore throat scheme, a Lloydspharmacy chief has warned.

Cormac Tobin, managing director of Lloydspharmacy's parent company Celesio UK, said NHS England’s decision to back a sore throat ‘test and treat’ service first piloted by Boots in 2014 shows “some joined-up thinking”.

However, there must be “new money for pharmacy” to help fund the project, “not more tinkering with the global sum”, he warned yesterday (November 14).

“Pharmacists are in an ideal position to conduct this type of service and the benefits are considerable in terms of taking pressure off GPs, not to mention the effect on antibiotic resistance,” he said.

“But it will only happen if the government backs up its rhetoric with a proper — and properly funded — plan,” Mr Tobin added.

PSNC reaction

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) echoed Mr Tobin's concerns around how the roll-out will be funded.

PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton stressed: “No central funding is being made available to commission this service. Its adoption will be subject to local decisions made by clinical commissioning groups."

Mr Buxton said the announcement “runs contrary to the funding cut”, which will see a 12% drop in the sector’s funding from December and “will adversely affect the ability of pharmacies to provide patient care”. 

Get an insider's view on the funding cut negotiations in C+D's exclusive podcast interview with PSNC representative Mark Burdon 

8 Comments
Question: 
Would your patients benefit from a sore throat test scheme?

PoPeYe- Popeys Car Wash, Locum pharmacist

See if I see the phrase, "Pharmacists are in an ideal position...", one more time!!!

Bal Singh, Locum pharmacist

PLEASE!!! Fund this with missing Tax revenue Alliance Boots and Celesico LLoyds don't pay!

Stephen Smullen, Community pharmacist

Here we go again, trying to squeeze into an already very packed pharmacy day another new service. Without adequate renumeration to allow for a second pharmacist cover to provide all these new services then pharmacist pressure increases, patient waiting time increases and overall patient experience will drop. When is someone going to stand back and review what pharmacy has to offer the public and pay for the service as a whole rather than piecemeal?

Jessica Smith, Locum pharmacist

But even if the service was adequately renumerated... would we see a second Pharmacist???   Profit over patient experience all the way!  The NHS need to employ more Pharmacists directly to carry out these services, so that they will be provided as efficiently and effectively as intended.  The hands of the employee  Pharmacists are tied, as they have very little control over the staffing levels etc, to ensure that these services are provided whilst maintaining optimal patient experience.

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Show me the money! Oh there isn't any.

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Mr Tobin, Boots got there before you, live with it!

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

I can't see it making a blind bit of difference anyway because of the cost and the fact that if a pharmacist doesn't give them antibiotics they'll just go to the GP anyway, get antibiotics in two seconds flat and make the poor pharmacist who refused look like an idiot. It also comes as no surprise that the Lloyds CEO doesn't endorse a Boots scheme unless it involves more money for the Lloyds bottomless pit. How long before there are targets for this one I wonder?

Jaz Kaur, Pharmacy

Everyone should be concerned and ask questions. This scheme should not be allowed to get off the ground especially when Boots is front runner . 

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