Pharmacy boss warns against ‘reckless’ cuts
APHARMACY boss fears ‘reckless’ Government plans to cut funding could see branch closures across the town.
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee - which negotiates with the Department of Health (DoH) and NHS England on behalf of pharmacies - claims there are plans to axe funding by 12 per cent (pc)- £113m - from December.
Daniel Byatt, manager at Cohens Chemist on Sunderland Street, Macclesfield, fears any reduction will see patients suffer.
Mr Byatt said: “We work very hard to ensure that all our patients have the medicines they need, when they need them and that they understand how to use them and are leading the healthiest lives that they can.
“With these funding cuts some pharmacies are going to struggle to manage and to continue to provide all of the services that they currently provide.
“I am very concerned about these funding cuts and don’t understand how they are compatible with the stated aims of the NHS and Government to provide higher quality and more accessible care for patients.
“Although we are unlikely to see pharmacies closing immediately, the cuts are likely to lead to pharmacies having to reduce staffing, cut opening hours and reduce some of the services offered, such as home delivery of medicines and the supply of medicines in compliance aids.
“All of which affect patients and will also of course add to the pressure already being placed on local GP practices and hospitals.”
Pharmacies get around 90pc of their income from the money government pays for dispensing prescriptions.
Sue Sharpe, chief executive of the PSNC, said: “This funding imposition is a short-sighted and illjudged approach to take, particularly when alternative constructive proposals that would address the need for the NHS to make cash savings have been put forward by PSNC.
“Pharmacies have always met demands for help from their patients, particularly in the winter, acting to relieve pressure on general practices and other NHS providers.
“They have done this readily and willingly, but as they are forced to review their operating costs and consider staff cuts, patients may find that they have to wait longer to receive advice that would previously have been readily available. The NHS must recognise this as winter pressures set in and it turns, as usual, to pharmacy for help.”
A spokesman for the DoH said no decision on funding had been made.
Daniel Byatt of Cohens chemist on Sunderland Street fears patients will suffer