• Government plans to “phase out” establishment payments over a number of years
  • Say ‘hub-and-spoke' model could provide cost savings for pharmacies
  • Efficiencies include encouraging longer prescription terms
  • Department of Health adds “there are more pharmacies than necessary to maintain good patient access”
  • Up to 3,000 pharmacies could close

The Department of Health (DH) is “seeking to drive closure of many pharmacies”, the PSNC has said following further information about the proposed 6% cuts.

The comments were made by Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee chief executive Sue Sharpe following the release of a briefing document about the funding reduction and the government’s response to an online petition.

PSNC has warned that the £170m cuts, to take effect from October 2016, will result in job losses that will ultimately affect the ability of pharmacies to deliver a clinically focused service.

Commenting on the latest information, Sharpe said: “Until this week communications have been silent on how the NHS intends to develop the clinically focused service that it states as its aim.

“We have been clear that cuts to pharmacy funding that will force contractors to cut staffing is about the worst way to do it.

“We have made this point forcefully and are bringing forward our own proposals.”

PSNC has also rejected the DH response to an online petition against the cuts that gained more than 10,000 signatures.

Sharpe said: “The explanation given today in response to the petition has no credibility in light of their position to date.

“PSNC had expected that further funding cuts were planned as the DH confirmed in a meeting with the All-Party Pharmacy Group, and as the chief pharmaceutical officer stated his view a few years ago that there 3,000 too many pharmacies we had also feared that they might be seeking to drive closure of many pharmacies.”