Yesterday saw the announcement that the total budget for community pharmacy in England remains the same for year three. This is disappointing and frustrating news, says Jeremy Meader, Managing Director at PHOENIX.
The PSNC’s negotiating team faced a difficult challenge and despite “warm words from senior politicians” were met with, as they described, “a flat rejection from the Treasury for additional funding.”
It’s unfathomable that the government has widely acknowledged the importance of community pharmacy in delivering improved health outcomes, yet refuses to recognise this through increased investment. The new hypertension service is welcome, yet it is the tip of the iceberg in terms of what pharmacy can offer as a local, valued healthcare hub preventing ill health from arising in the first instance and providing the professional support which those with chronic conditions need.
Community pharmacy’s cost base continues to rise and we are extremely disappointed that the government perpetually continues to reject the obvious case for investment in the third pillar of healthcare provision and recognise the outstanding work delivered by pharmacy teams, which countless surveys have shown people want, need and value.
We are sympathetic to the frustrations contractors will experience as a result of the announcement and we will not relinquish our lobbying efforts. We do, however, encourage members to embrace the service agenda and the opportunities that remain for remuneration and we are committed to supporting members to maximise these opportunities.
We have developed new dispensing, purchasing and digital solutions to support you and help you protect your bottom line whilst improving patient services. Talk to us how we can help you during this time of financial austerity.
It’s hard not to be disheartened, but let’s embrace the enormous strengths of our local community pharmacies in England to deliver exceptional standards of care in spite of the funding challenges we face.