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Simon Dukes: We’ve all had to cut costs, and it’s not enough

Dukes: Contract “provides five years of stability and a platform for change”
Dukes: Contract “provides five years of stability and a platform for change”

Contractors and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have both “cut costs” and made “efficiencies”, but it is still not enough, its chief executive has said.

PSNC and local pharmaceutical committees (LPCs) are “in this together”, and the negotiator must change to “support [contractors] better” in delivering the five-year funding contract, Simon Dukes told LPC representatives at their conference in London on Wednesday (September 25).

PSNC has already cut costs by making redundancies and closing its Enfield office, and Mr Dukes recognised that contractors have undertaken “similar activities to reduce your costs too – but it's not enough”.

PSNC faces a “paradox” that providing LPCs with more support that can be passed onto pharmacy owners would require them to “pay more in a time when we're expecting contractors to use every pound they have to invest in their businesses to carry out the very activities that we're telling them to do”.

To resolve this, Mr Dukes announced an “independent review” of how PSNC and LPCs support contractors' activities, and asked attendees to fill out a questionnaire to suggest what form this review should take.

“Not the deal we all wanted

Turning to the five-year funding contract, Mr Dukes acknowledged it “may not be the deal we all wanted”, but claimed it “provides five years of stability and a platform for change”.

If pharmacies deliver the services set out in the contract successfully, such as the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, the sector will be “commissioned to do more”.

“The more we do, the more we become invaluable to NHS England,” Mr Dukes added.

He also spoke about the importance of cross-sector collaboration and said PSNC is “rebuilding trust with the government”, and working “more and more” with politicians, the British Medical Association and other pharmacy bodies.

What do you make of Mr Dukes' comments?

Mina Patel, Community pharmacist

Talk about trying to squeeze a stone dry ! Working our socks off and it’s not enough.

Simmi Sood, Community pharmacist

Has Simon Dukes taken a pay cut ? He’ll get his fat pension no matter what happens to the rest of us . 

Arun Tanna, Community pharmacist

We have been sold down the river . No other organisation would put up with the way we have been treated by the government and the PSNC which stands for “Pharmacist should not Complaint”

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

What else can you expect from an organisation where the people who fund them do not have a say in what they do or what they charge back to the funders. Its a free roll, redundancies of low paid jobs and hefty bonusus/ pensions for the top bosses stays. And they still call this country is great follower of Democracy!!!

bhupendra lakhani, Community pharmacist

One day experience is no good 

take time off your airconditioned office and please spend 2-3 weeks 


bhupendra lakhani, Community pharmacist


Well said Mr Patel and Kevin

Mr Duke needs  to go out and work along with a Indipendent  Retail Pharmacy to find out  how they and the staff are trying their best to keep the business going and providing the best possible service to the patients and how hard they are finding to keep pace with work load and daily paperwork 









N patel , Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

absolute poppycock from the psnc.. have any of the executives taken a pay cut like contractors have.....i dont think dont fall this bull from a poorly performing negotiating body...they a looking for a fig leaf to cover their inadequacies and incompetence

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

the phrases that seem to always crop up as excuses for DoH to not use Pharmacy are - "need to demonstrate what we do" and need to "build the trust of the DoH" having spent 30 + years working my butt off for patients and delivering untold extras for them and the NHS  I am heartily sick of it. They should be told the boot is on the other foot - we dont tust them, and if they dont want everyone we see referred to GPs A&E or 111 they had better extract their digit.

Mina Patel, Community pharmacist

Well put Kevin totally agree with you .

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