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LPC: 2 inner-city independents on brink of closure over cuts


"At least two independents" could close in 18 months as a result of the funding cuts, a local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) chief has warned. 

Hitesh Patel, chief executive officer of City and Hackney LPC, was commissioned by the local clinical commissioning group to look into the impact of the pharmacy cuts. 

Mr Patel discovered that within his region of London, 16 pharmacies dispense less than 3,000 items per month, a figure he judges as “the threshold for the pharmacies to exist”, following the 12% funding drop.

Only two of the 16 pharmacies are independents. The rest are “Boots pharmacies in the City of London”, which do not depend on prescriptions as they have “huge” over-the-counter trade, Mr Patel claimed. 

C+D's digital reporter Thomas Cox interviewed Mr Patel at Spring Pharmacy in Hackney last Friday (January 13).

Watch the video to find out how "these cuts have jeopardised [the pharmacies'] future" and how Mr Patel's LPC is supporting local contractors. 


Gursaran Matharu, Community pharmacist

A quote from the House of Lords debating the Nuffield Foundation Inquiry (1984) into pharmacy “It is very difficult to ask any professional to act continuously against his or her own economic interests. A serious criticism of the way in which the community pharmacist is at present remunerated is that it acts counter to rather than in support of the exercise of a professional role. This criticism we would stress is a reflection on the system and not on the individual pharmacist."

Things have not changed much!



Billy Black, Community pharmacist

Pharmacy and pharmacists are taking a battering. It is so unfair.We do a tremendously important job.We are the most acessible profession.We are the most adaptable to change.We improve the nations health directly and indirectly through  health promotion. We are scrutinised by everyone and criticised but seldom praised. Now we are allowing fellow professionals to work for £12 per hour and others to face the closure of their business.It really is unacceptable.

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Excellent!  the plan is working.  Less pharmacies means more competition for jobs, we'll have these pharmacists on £12/hr before the year is out.  Hazaar!!!!

oh wait, some of them already accept that rate.

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Quite right, pharmacists were already taking much lower rates of pay well before the 'cuts' and these rates will continue to fall regardless of them. You can't threaten people with the inevitable. 

Tom, a little tip for you, if you want to wind people up - subtlety is everything. You are coming over far too strong and revealing your work. It is like rushing a joke. I think I remember you doing this in a previous post. It is too late now of course, but re-register under another name, maybe Tim, and try again. 

S Morein, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

So let them close. They are not providing a cost effective service for the NHS. What's the real issue subsiding contractors who are providing a minimal quantites of service?

Tony Schofield, Community pharmacist

It is not for anybody to comment on the value of service offered by a fellow professional based on numbers. Also, as a sub 3000 prescription item pharmacy, which doesn't currently qualify for the full establishment payment, the actual hit financially will be much less in pound notes than significantly busier pharmacies. I would have thought that meant they were less likely to close. Pharmacies in the upper quartile are usually paying much higher fixed costs ( which by definition can't be reduced) and some are facing cuts approaching 20% according to the NPA and PSNC ready reckoners. They are perhaps in more danger than anyone realises and will certainly be reducing their costs (i.e. Hours and wages) more aggressively than a pharmacy doing 3000 items per month. Breaches of banking covenants are far more likely at this type of pharmacy meaning some pharmacies doing over 9000 items are at greater risk than many doing 3000

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