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Revealed: Which pharmacies will be protected from the cuts

DH: Pharmacies who narrowly missed out on the scheme can ask for a review

Almost a quarter of the pharmacies being protected from the funding cut belong to the three biggest multiples, a C+D analysis has revealed.

A total of 1,356 pharmacies in England – around one in 10 – will receive money from the government's "pharmacy access fund" to offset the worst of the incoming cut to funding.

A C+D analysis of the full list of these pharmacies – published by the Department of Health yesterday (October 20) – revealed that 312 (23%) of those listed belong to the three largest multiples.

This figure consists of 124 Boots branches, 56 Well branches, 107 Lloydspharmacy branches, as well as 25 Sainsbury's branches – which transferred over to Lloyds last month. 

A total of 36 Asda and Morrisons pharmacies will receive financial protection, as will 47 Rowlands branches and 37 Day Lewis pharmacies.

Distance-selling pharmacies were not eligible for the scheme, the DH said.

A full list can be found here.

Still expected to make efficiencies

The payment will amount to "roughly" £2,900 per month for 2016-17 and £1,500 per month for 2017-18, the DH said yesterday.

However, these pharmacies must still make efficiency savings of 1% in 2016-17 and 3% in 2017-18, it stressed.

To make it onto the list, pharmacies have to be more than a mile away from another pharmacy "by road" and not in the top 25% of pharmacies according to dispensing volume, the DH said.

It added: "Pharmacies that might have narrowly missed out on the access scheme through the distance criteria, but are in an area of high deprivation, will be eligible to ask for a review."

"This will cover pharmacies that are located in the 20% most deprived areas in England and are 0.8 miles or more from another pharmacy, and are critical to access," it added.

"Funding for successful reviews will be made available as required from outside of this package," it added. 

What do you think about the fund allocation?

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Perhaps its the law of unintended consequences, but the Boots branch at Gatwick Airport is deemed worthy of protection

Leon The Apothecary, Student

A thought that occurs to me is that Boots and Lloyds use hub dispensing for a large number of these pharmacies. How are figures calculated with this aspect in mind?

DM X, Locum pharmacist

what amazes me is the number of  supermarket pharmacies in this list! i have worked in some of themn and i can assure you the customers certainly have alternatives to go to that are nearby (or give a delivery service)! 

Jaz Kaur, Pharmacy

why do Boots and Lloyds always come out smelling of roses ????  How did these  foreign owned multiples get such a hold ???

M Yang, Community pharmacist

I suspect it has something to do with such companies buying up lots of pharmacies years ago. I've seen plenty of Boots chemists that're small and without any room for expanding. They aren't the sort of place an independent contractor would buy in this day and age, there would be plenty of places that're better in terms of location and quality of the premises. I think the aim was to buy out as many retiring pharmacists and small essential pharmacies as they could. A town or village (and surrounding area) with only Boots as the local pharmacy can be a powerful thing. Quality of the service is debatable, though.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I agree. Buying everything without a single thought to the quality of the service provided to the community nor long after the pharmacists and staff that work there.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Where's the list of pharmacies?

Sohail Asghar, Student

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Nice one Sohail, thanks!

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

What volume of dispensing would be necessary to be in the top 25%?

Aryan Butt,

about 9000 items a month

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Could you also check the actual prescription items these Big Boys dispense on an average per month ?? And how many are actually in or around a GP surgery. That may throw some light on the unscienitific way used by the DoH in the funding cuts.

Aryan Butt,

proportionally multiples seem to have less than you would expect them to have if you take into account the percentage of shops as a proportion of total number of shops

Mr Pharmacist!, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Keith Ridge's legacy --------> How to #### up a sector.*

*This comment has been edited to comply with C+D's community principles* 

fatnose pansies, Sales

Keith Ridge does have a lot to answer for.

C&D, where is your coverage of the GPhC workplace pressures meeting which happened on Tuesday?

Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

I would expect that has been buried as it might not paint certain organisations in a good light. Certain organisations which contribute to the revenue of C&D.

fatnose pansies, Sales

It looks like the multiples had an easy time. You can see what the C&D saw here - the press got booted out half way through

James Waldron, Editorial

Hi both,

Our full coverage of the GPhC pressures event is appearing in this week's magazine and will be published on the website on Monday. We made the editorial decision to give priority to Thursday's announcement of the funding cuts this week.

If you want to catch up in the meantime, C+D's deputy features editor Beth Kennedy's live coverage of the event can be found at her Twitter profile: @CandDBeth.

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