Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Pharmacy funding cuts

Burt distances himself from ‘3,000 pharmacy closures’ prediction

Community and social care minister says he has “no expectations” regarding community pharmacy closures.

The government is not making any presumptions about community pharmacy closures as a result of its proposals for the sector, according to Alistair Burt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care, pictured

Source: Charles Willis / Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Alistair Burt, minister of state for community and social care, says he will play ‘an active part’ in encouraging commissioners to fund services through pharmacy

The government is not making any presumptions about community pharmacy closures which could result from its proposals for the sector, according to Alistair Burt, minister of state for community and social care.

“I have no expectations in terms of the number of closures that might happen,” Burt told The Pharmaceutical Journal on 11 February 2016. “We just don’t know what the situation will be. There is no government plan for any closures; it is not a directive.”

Burt’s comments follow reports that the minister, who has responsibility for pharmacy, predicted that up to one in four pharmacies could close, as many as 3,000 in total, as a result of the 6% funding cuts to the community pharmacy contractual framework, which are due to take effect in October 2016.

He said that the government was “setting the overall envelope” within which pharmacy would operate and that there were “opportunities within that envelope”.

“That pharmacy will change is highly likely,” he said, “but how it will look is up to the pharmacy profession.”

Burt insisted that the £2.63bn on offer to fund the community pharmacy contract, down £170m from £2.8bn, was still a “substantial” amount and that expenditure for the health service as a whole was increasing.

“That increase has to be funded through efficiencies,” he said. “Yes, there will be implications but that is what the consultation is about — how to make the best use of the money.”

Burt made his comments following a visit to Copes Pharmacy in Streatham, south east London, owned by Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Ahead of the visit, Soni said that the main focus would be to show the minister “all the elements of care that the pharmacy delivers” and to demonstrate that “the staff are all trained or being trained to enhance their skills and increase the offer to the public”.

In the image, RPS English Pharmacy board member, Sandra Gidley, Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt and RPS President, Ash Soni with staff from the Copes Pharmacy in Streatham

Source: Charles Willis / Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Left to right: Sandra Gidley, chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board, and staff from Copes Pharmacy, Justina Navickaite, health champion and trainee technician, pharmacist Evelyne Nukajam and medicines counter assistant Pat Jeary, with Alistair Burt and Ash Soni

“The reduction in funding will reduce the ability to invest in this way,” says Soni. “Particularly if pharmacies like mine are unable to easily access the proposed integration fund to maintain and enhance what we already do.”

But Burt pointed out that many of the services being provided by Copes Pharmacy were funded through primary care allocations and other funding streams, and that the details of both the integration and access funds were still being worked out.

“I’ve already made it clear that I want to play an active part in encouraging commissioners to fund services through pharmacy,” the minister said.

The Department of Health will consult on its proposals with pharmacy and patient organisations until 24 March 2016. The proposals include a range of measures to make efficiency savings while extending clinical roles for the profession.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20200704

Readers' comments (2)

  • The above article states that the Minister responsible for pharmacy considers that up to 3000 Community pharmacies could close and then the minister of community and social care states-- quote-"We just don't know what the situation will be"
    Take both statements together and we have in fact an admission that no one in government actually knows what they are doing.
    A situation which reminds me of an American football coach who when asked how to improve the performance of a team said
    " Its easy-- Bus these guys out of here and get me some guys who actually know how to play this game"
    How can any minister admit that "we don't know what the situation will be"? and another minister make "guestimates" of closures ----The RPS should take notice of that American Football coach and demand talks with people "who do know what this situation is" and exactly the damage these cuts could do

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Graham Phillips

    Poor Alistair! He made the fatal mistake of being honest (never a good trait in a politician) and now his civil-servants have got him in an arm-lock so he's trying to reverse himself. Or, as Sir Humphrey would have put it "What the Minister intended to convey is...."

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Social and Cognitive Pharmacy

    Social and Cognitive Pharmacy

    Social and Cognitive Pharmacy is a practical handbook for learning and teaching sociology and psychology, and applying this to pharmacy practice.

    £32.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Alistair Burt, minister of state for community and social care
  • In the image, RPS English Pharmacy board chair Sandra Gidley, Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt and RPS President, Ash Soni with staff from Copes Pharmacy in Streatham

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.