Earlier this month (September 4), accountancy firm Ernst and Young (EY) published an NPA-commissioned report predicting that under the current pharmacy funding model, nearly three quarters of community pharmacies in England will be in deficit by 2024.
Following the report, the NPA has written an open letter to Mr Sunak warning that “many pharmacies could soon vanish forever due to underfunding”.
“Nearly three-quarters of family-owned pharmacies in England could be forced to shut their doors over the next four years,” the NPA said in the letter.
It called on Mr Sunak to use his power as chancellor to “help us keep the doors open for vital NHS care” and said the government “urgently needs to look again at pharmacy funding, which is just not enough to sustain the services people rely on”.
“Many pharmacies will be unable to survive – limiting access to health services in villages, towns, urban areas and in rural communities such as those in your own constituency,” the NPA told the chancellor.
It also warned that pharmacy closures will lead to unemployment and increased pressure on other areas of the health service – such as GP surgeries and A&E departments.
“As the son of a pharmacist, we are quite sure that you won’t wish to preside over the irreversible decline of community pharmacy, which has done so much over the last year to prove its worth and save lives,” the letter said.
NPA: Sector’s voice must be heard
An NPA spokesperson told C+D yesterday (September 15) t that the letter is a “timely public appeal for investment”, adding that the organisation is also making representations “behind the scenes ministers and senior officials”.
“Within 48 hours, more than 1,000 NPA members and others had signed the letter to the chancellor,” they said “It’s important that their voice is heard and that the government responds in a meaningful way to improve the situation,” the spokesperson added.