Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice, has responded to an open letter from Government, revealed today at a meeting with pharmacy minister Alistair Burt:
“Announcing a 6% funding cut to community pharmacy from next October over six months is certain to hurt the sector. Many contractors, currently in the midst of the Christmas rush, will be rightly anxious as to how this £170m cut will affect their patients, their businesses, their livelihoods and those of their pharmacy teams and other employees.
“It is a complex picture and there are many items being discussed from hub and spoke dispensing, the role for clinical pharmacy to pharmacy numbers. At this stage we do not have the detail of how these elements can affect the bottom line. What we do know is that the expertise and knowledge of how to achieve change is within the sector, rather than in Whitehall. Community pharmacy has already delivered 4% efficiency savings to the NHS which is proof that we already play a highly efficient part in NHS service delivery.
“We will be working with our member organisations to agree how we best deal with these very challenging decisions. As recognised in the letter, we think it is a constructive step that, for the first time, Pharmacy Voice and other organisations will have the opportunity to engage in this process as statutory consultees. We will work with colleagues across the community pharmacy sector to ensure that the value of the network is retained and that negative, unintended consequences are avoided.”
Notes to editors
For further information please contact Chris Ford on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3405 2810