The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has announced that it does not support the new Pharmacy Contraception Service and believes that both patients and pharmacies will lose out if the service is continued.

NHS England and contractors should ‘pause and reflect’ before further implementation of the Pharmacy Contraception Service, the organisation added.

After meeting on Tuesday, the NPA board decided that it ‘cannot support the immediate roll out of this service’.

It explained that it believes that all payments for the service ‘will ultimately be clawed back by NHS England’, as there is no new funding announced for the service, and all existing funds are ‘in effect already allocated to other pharmacy activity’.

In a tweet on Tuesday evening, the NPA said: ‘We can’t tell pharmacy owners what they can and can’t do. But we can tell them the facts; fact number one is that with no new funding currently available everyone will be a loser from the implementation of this service on the current terms.’

NPA Vice-Chair Jay Badenhorst added that patients would also be negatively impacted by the roll-out of the contraception service.

‘Taking on additional work when current workload already exceeds capacity risks impacting negatively on the overall quality of care people experience in pharmacies.

‘We still believe this could, in future, be a great new pharmacy service, but not without the extra funding necessary to deliver it safely and effectively. We want to offer women this extra support, but if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing properly,’ he explained.

‘We cannot be expected to take on more and more services without the increase in funding necessary to deliver them effectively,’ Mr Badenhorst said.

Earlier this month the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced that the service would begin on 24 April – a date imposed by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

This was ‘in direct contradiction’ to its warnings that rolling out additional services was ‘neither feasible nor affordable’, PSNC said at the time.

The NPA said that it aims to remain in dialogue with PSNC, NHS England (NHSE) and the DHSC about a way forward for the service.

NHSE and DHSC have been approached for comment.