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PSNC: NHS ‘must’ recognise pharmacy in DH’s extra £6.6bn COVID funding

Simon Dukes: We want to see the NHS supporting pharmacies financially

PSNC has welcomed the Department of Health and Social Care’s announcement of an extra £6.6bn in COVID funding and has called on NHSE&I for financial support for pharmacies.

In an oral statement to parliament yesterday (March 18), health secretary Matt Hancock announced that the NHS will receive an extra £6.6 billion “for the first half of this coming financial year”, in recognition of COVID-19 pressures.

The new funding is in addition to the £3bn pledged to the sector as part of last year’s spending review, Mr Hancock added. Community pharmacy was not mentioned in the statement.

PSNC: Pharmacy needs financial support

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) CEO Simon Dukes hailed the extra money for the NHS as “good news...as there is much work to do to help health services to recover from the shocks of COVID-19”.

The NHS "must recognise” that community pharmacy is one of those services that needs to recover following the strains of COVID-19, Mr Dukes stressed.

“Pharmacies have much to offer through this next phase of the pandemic too and we want to see the NHS supporting them financially as it starts to plan for the future,” Mr Dukes added.

He said he is hopeful that the negotiations for the third year of the five-year pharmacy funding deal will begin soon and stressed that, during those negotiations, PSNC will continue to “make the case for further funds, including NHS monies, to be invested into community pharmacy”.

PSNC revealed last month (February 9) that HM Treasury was refusing to budge on its original funding offer for the sector. Speaking in Parliament last week (March 11), pharmacy minister Jo Churchill said the DH “expects” to reimburse pharmacies for COVID-19 costs by reducing the £370 million the sector must pay back.

£594 million towards safe hospital discharge

Mr Hancock also said yesterday that the DH is allocating £594m towards safe hospital discharge.

“We can be grateful that we’re seeing so many people leave hospital, and our discharge programme has shown the way forward, ensuring people can get the very best care outside of our hospitals, helping them off our wards and into the right settings with the right support at the right time,” Mr Hancock added.

Pharmacies started providing the Discharge Medicines Service as an essential service from February 15, as part of which they will see hospitals digitally refer patients to them for advice on newly prescribed medicines or changed prescriptions.

8 Comments
Question: 
What do you make of this announcement?

ethyl bromide, Community pharmacist

The net result of years of the multiple cabal at the heart of the PSNC deriding the role of Pharmacists even trying to get them taken out of Pharmacies, and worshipping at the altar of script numbers and wholesaling for profit.
The NHS knows the money will never reach a frontline Pharmacy. If the NHS values anything, it values us, not contractors.

That said, if the PSNC want to be seen to be emphasising our role, why not go for more money for more staff hours.

Meera Sharma, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Surely Mr Dukes you have failed to do what the sector pays you to do because we seem to have gone even more backwards. It is embarrassing how we are being treated despite the efforts we put in during the pandemic. You have demonstrated no leadership whatsoever except for complaining to contractors. 

Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Let's keep it simple about what pharmacists actually care about. The profession needs an update to the minimum staffing level (hours) that a pharmacy require depending on item volume as a lot of pharmacies are dangerously understaffed (especially the multiples). Get rid of NMS as it's the biggest waste of time and exploited by multiples as always (as pharmacists we should provide advice regarding new medication regardless). Minimum rates need to be set for dispenser and pharmacist per hour (most dispensers on Minimum wage). No pay rise for pharmacists or rise with inflation has occurred. Fine pharmacies that don't open (multiples not opening unless they find very cheap cover), allow individual pharmacists to open their own pharmacies if they desire and undertake proper inspections into multiple pharmacies (processes not followed, no cd balance checks, dangerous staffing levels etc)

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Lol have you been on the sauce. Nice recommendations but I think we know how such sensible and reasonable suggestions are dealt with. 

Mr E Rash, Community pharmacist

Must, but won't.

sunil maini, Community pharmacist

Forgotten again.We must be invisible,or we just don't matter.Bottom of the pile?No,am truly starting to believe we are not in the pile at all.

A.S. Singh, Community pharmacist

'Additional funding supporting general practice for April – September 2021

Please see the letter published today 19 March 2021 from Ed Waller, Director of Primary Care, and Dr Nikita Kanani, Medical Director for Primary Care informing General Practice £120 million of revenue funding has been ringfenced exclusively for general practice, to support the expansion of capacity until the end of September'

Blimey. Sitting at home too hard. PSNC, you held a webinar with the minister of COVID-19 deployment last month and all you did is talk in riddles. I have supported your efforts throughout the years but you NEED TO BE MORE DIRECT. How can this union demand this packet from the government and you can't protect our 370 million? You need to rally the troups as it could get ugly this year.

SydBashford Sold&Retired&DeRegistered, Community pharmacist

Wishful thinking.... net amount of this to pharmacy.... Zero !

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