Commenting on the appointment of Neil O’Brien as the new Pharmacy Minister, Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA said:
“We welcome the appointment of Neil O’Brien as Pharmacy Minister. Unfortunately, the Minister will find that the community pharmacy sector is more fragile than ever. The funding and workforce pressures are simply untenable.
The Government must recognise that a real-terms cut in funding across the last eight years is leading to an increasing rate of permanent pharmacy closures. Our own research finds that 41% of permanent closures since 2015 have occurred in the 20% most deprived areas of England.
The NHS must endeavour to put patients back in control. As such, a holistic review of primary care is urgently needed. This will ensure that resources are directed to where they deliver the most benefit to patients. Such a review must be underpinned by a fully funded and integrated workforce plan, as recommended by the Health and Social Care Committee”.