On the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, Malcolm Harrison, CEO of the CCA said:
Despite displaying tremendous resilience throughout the pandemic, community pharmacy, just like other parts of the healthcare sector, is not immune to the rising cost of doing business. Community pharmacies are in dire need of additional support and we hope that this will be recognised in the current negotiations between the sector and NHS E/I & Department of Health and Social Care. The CCA has calculated that by the end of the current framework (2023/24), pharmacies will have experienced a real-terms reduction in funding of around 25% since 2014. This will be to the detriment of communities, patients, and the entire NHS.
The Government urgently needs to recognise the value that community pharmacies deliver to local communities and their health needs. The government has the opportunity to not only protect what it currently has in the pharmacy network, by providing adequate funding for today’s level of pharmaceutical care provided to the NHS, but also an injection of an additional £656 million annually to the sector would bring about a return on investment of at least £1.9 billion of benefits per year for the NHS, delivering more clinical services to patients and adding much-needed capacity to General Practice. Community pharmacies are in the perfect position to provide personalised and preventative healthcare through their relationships with local communities and are key to levelling up access to healthcare across the nation. Unfortunately, the Government is sitting on this unlocked potential of clinical expertise. Pharmacy teams and CCA members stand ready and willing to deliver for patients, as they so valiantly demonstrated during the Covid response. However only with sustainable investment can the full value of pharmacies be realised.
Furthermore, we are interested to see the proposals to reform the current tax system, including the apprenticeship levy, to further incentivise training for pharmacy professionals.