Conservative MP Jackie Doyle-Price has praised independent pharmacies for ‘keeping our NHS standing’ during Covid-19 and asked the Government to ensure they receive the right resources to continue doing so.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday (29 September), the Thurrock MP highlighted the ‘huge’ challenges pharmacies have faced throughout the pandemic including GP surgeries working behind closed doors, pharmaceutical companies’ increased drug prices and the lack of extra funding provided by the government.
‘I know there has been an advanced payment of £300 million in extra funding to help with cash flow, but ‘£300 million for keeping our NHS standing is small beer quite frankly,’ she said.
Ms Doyle-Price then asked junior health minister Jo Churchill to ‘demand’ NHS England make sure that pharmacies get the right resources so ‘they can continue to do the fantastic job that they’ve been doing to date’.
Back in July, the House of Lords heard a similar criticism from Conservative peer, Lord Grade of Yarmouth, that Government funding made available to community pharmacies in England during the Covid-19 crisis was ‘nowhere near enough’ for pharmacists to make a living.
Lord Grade said it was ‘unrealistic’ for the department to expect the amount it has given to the sector to be enough.
PSNC has written to the Government requesting an urgent uplift to the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) funding, following the additional pressures placed on pharmacy as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the letter, the body raised the ‘critical issue of systemic underfunding of the sector’. It pointed to the impact this has had on the two largest pharmacy chains – Boots and Lloyds – who have both recently announced plans for significant cost-cutting and reorganisation measures.