Theresa May said this afternoon (March 1) there had been an “increase of over 18%” in the number of pharmacies in the country in “the past decade”, and “most” receive the £25,000 establishment payment “regardless of size or quality”.
Ms May was responding to a question from Labour MP and all-party pharmacy group chair Sir Kevin Barron in today’s Prime Minister's Questions.
Sir Kevin said he had received an email from a pharmacist in his constituency explaining that the drop in funding had already forced him to reduce “staff and services”.
“This week he received a notification of the payments for prescriptions dispensed in December of last year, and he has had a reduction of nearly £9,000 – which represents 18.8%,” Sir Kevin said.
“This is well beyond the 4% the pharmacy minister talked about in October of last year.”
Sir Kevin asked the government to revisit the pharmacy funding cuts “as a matter of urgency”.
In response, Ms May claimed two-fifths of pharmacies are within 10 minutes’ walk of “two or more” others, and the average pharmacy receives “roughly £220,000” in NHS funding.
The system needs "reforming" so that NHS resources are spent “efficiently and effectively”.
The government “made changes” last summer to make “greater support” available to pharmacies in “particular areas”, Ms May added.
You can watch the full exchange on Parliament TV here.