This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

MPs’ letter urges Leadsom to support pharmacies against “unprecedented” pressures

Business news

MPs’ letter urges Leadsom to support pharmacies against “unprecedented” pressures

This story was originally published by Independent Community Pharmacist.

Twenty MPs signed a letter that was sent last month to the health minister Andrea Leadsom outlining their concerns about what they describe as the “unprecedented pressures” facing community pharmacies across England.

In their letter, whose signatories included the former home secretary Priti Patel, the MPs called on Leadsom (pictured) to urgently consider three measures; the government working with community pharmacy to create a “fair and fit-for-purpose funding model” for the sector; effectively implement and develop the Pharmacy First scheme in England so patients can access walk-in consultations for minor conditions; and build on other clinical services such as vaccinations, women’s health and the management of long-term conditions to ensure pharmacy has an integral role in the NHS.

The letter warns Leadsom that core pharmacy funding has dropped by 30 per cent in real terms since 2015, heaping huge pressures on pharmacies that in turn is being exacerbated by inflationary pressures on workforce, energy costs and medicines supply.

They also warn 1,400 pharmacies have closed since October 2016 while many others have had to scale back their services and opening hours.

Community Pharmacy England chief executive Janet Morrison added her voice to those urging Leadsom to support community pharmacies by appealing to her to address financial pressures, staff shortages, closures and escalating costs which pharmacies “are grappling with.”

“The crucial role of pharmacies in providing essential healthcare services to communities is on the line. The financial pressures on pharmacies are extreme and show no signs of improving,” Morrison said.

She said CPE has “deep concerns” about the financial impact the increase in the national living wage will have on pharmacies, insisting the 9.8 per cent rise “will weigh heavily on pharmacy businesses.” Morrison warned the additional cost of that to community pharmacy will be £150 million to £195 million.

“This will be on top of the 30 per cent reduction in funding the sector has experienced so far,” she said. “It’s just not sustainable to expect pharmacies to absorb these additional costs. A failure to act to correct some of this will see many more pharmacies closing through 2024.

“MPs have rightly highlighted their concerns about the viability of community pharmacies, we are thankful for their support and for recognising the monumental challenges faced by community pharmacies.”


Copy Link copy link button

Business news