This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

Autumn budget: Pharmacies need a share of NHS spending boost


Autumn budget: Pharmacies need a share of NHS spending boost

England’s community pharmacies need a share of the additional £6.6bn in NHS funding announced in chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement, the National Pharmacy Association has said.

In a statement this morning addressing the cost of living crisis, Mr Hunt said that despite the need “to take difficult decisions on the public finances,” the NHS budget will grow by £3.3bn “in each of the next two years”.

He said NHS England chief Amanda Pritchard had advised him this would “provide sufficient funding for the NHS to fulfil its key priorities”.

He also said that while the planned revaluation of business properties from April 2023 will go ahead, he will “soften the blow on businesses with a nearly £14bn tax cut over the next five years”.

“This will include a new government funded Transitional Relief scheme… benefitting around 700,000 businesses.”

NPA chief executive Mark Lyonette welcomed the increase in NHS spending but said pharmacies must “benefit from this investment”.

He commented: “We’re now into the eighth year of real-term cuts. Despite this, pharmacies up and down the country are continuing to provide a crucial service to their patients and the entire community.

“But this state of affairs can’t carry on while pharmacies are running on empty. Our members are under massive pressure in terms of inflated costs and funding cuts.

“They are having to make cutbacks just at the very moment their help is needed to get the NHS back on its feet after the ravages of Covid.”

Meanwhile, contractors have warned that the uplift in the national living wage – confirmed in today’s budget announcement – will hit their businesses hard due to public officials’ refusal to grant an uplift to the sector’s core funding. 

NPA board member Olivier Picard said: “My staff are rightly deserving of a pay rise and I’m well willing to give that but the pressure we are under and the costs of medicines are higher than what we get paid. I’m genuinely worried about the business going forward.”

Another NPA member said he would be forced to make job cuts: “Due to the national wage increase our salary bill will increase with £300k per annum. To keep level, we will need to reduce the equivalent of 17 full time employees in the company. Not sure where we can do this, as we are really tight already.”

Copy Link copy link button


Stay up to date with all the news, learning and insight in the world of pharmacy.