CCA comment – lowest level of community pharmacies offering key NHS services since 2015/16

Photo by Dima Mukhin on Unsplash

MailOnline exclusively reported on the steepest drop yet in the number of pharmacy chains. Just 11,414 community pharmacies offering key NHS services remain — the lowest level since records began in 2015/16. Read the MailOnline article below:

Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA said:

“Pharmacies are disappearing at an alarming rate. Insufficient funding, ever-increasing workload and the worsening workforce crisis are all contributing to this decline.  

Despite rising inflation and business costs, funding for the sector’s core contract has not been increased since 2014 and was in fact cut by £200m a year in 2016. There is now an annual funding shortfall of at least £67,0001 per pharmacy in England.

Despite the number of pharmacies falling, the demands placed upon the network by increased NHS prescribing means that the remaining pharmacies and their teams will have to take on more and more work. Pharmacies are finding it harder and harder to deliver what the NHS wants, for what the NHS is prepared to pay. Taking on more and more unprofitable NHS workload only leads to increase financial strain for pharmacies, and may, unfortunately result in patients waiting longer to receive their medicines.

Not investing in the sector will mean the continued erosion of service. In May the Government and the NHS promised new funding for the sector, in the NHS’s Primary Care Recovery Plan. However, this new money is earmarked for the delivery of new, additional, workload. If the Government and NHS are serious about preserving the value of community pharmacies in England, they must also invest in the provision of medicines, which remains the core function of the sector.”

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