Phar­macy boss warns against ‘reck­less’ cuts

Macclesfield Express - - BUSINESS SME BUSINESS TIPS - STU­ART GREER

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

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