The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has said that 83% of contractors surveyed during its webinars have stopped or are considering only providing some of the advanced services agreed in the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF).

The finding came from polling undertaken during webinars with community pharmacy contractors throughout December. PSNC also found that 79% of participants were considering stopping free services, PSNC CEO Janet Morrison revealed in a video message last week.

‘These are important messages and we’re feeding those back to the politicians and to colleagues in NHS England,’ Ms Morrison said.

She said that community pharmacy had the potential to provide a demonstrable impact for patients, for example by easing pressure on GP access by providing a Pharmacy First service, but that could not do so without adequate funding.

‘We really feel like we are starting to have proper discussions with the department about what [Pharmacy First] might look like’, she said.

But she added: ‘We have to talk about that opportunity while also recognising the severe funding crisis that you’re all seeing every day in your work.’

During the December webinars, 84% of participants told PSNC that they were losing money now, and 40% said that they wouldn’t be able to survive for more than a year.

‘We mustn’t ever be surprised by this, because the government and NHS England made a deliberate choice, whether it was seven years ago, five years ago, to continue to squeeze our funding for this period of time.

‘It’s not a sudden problem, it’s a problem of their making, and they need to understand their responsibility in getting out of it – not just because we need community pharmacies as businesses to survive, but because the implications for patients, the implications of not being able to support patients with vital medicines supplies, and those many millions of people who rely upon us, to deliver that core service, is absolutely vital. They need to understand their responsibility to find a solution,’ Ms Morrison said.