Information for politicians
Published on: 30th May 2023 | Updated on: 16th November 2023
Community Pharmacy England represents all c.10,800 community pharmacies in England.
We exist to represent all community pharmacies – our members – including in negotiations with the Government and the NHS. We are responsible for negotiating the NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF), currently around £2.592 billion per year, under which all NHS community pharmacies operate.
For a brief explainer of Community Pharmacy England, watch the video below:
Please note: some of the briefings above are published under our former name, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, but we are now known as Community Pharmacy England.
How can you help to support your local pharmacies?
- Call for increased investment in community pharmacy to make the sector sustainable in the long-term.
- Recognise community pharmacy as an integral part of primary care.
- Work with us to make a clear plan for the future of community pharmacy, as we look towards the next CPCF in 2024.
How can we support you?
- We are very happy to meet with you to brief you on the national funding arrangements, and what we think must happen to make the sector sustainable in the long-term.
- We can provide tailored briefings which include data specific to your constituency, to illustrate the challenges and opportunities of pharmacy in your area.
- We can support with drafting materials and briefings for parliamentary questions, debates or anything else to help raise the issue of community pharmacy funding in Parliament.
Actions for MPs
There are a number of ways MPs can support community pharmacies:
- Submit Parliamentary Questions: Asking oral parliamentary questions in the House of Commons chamber during departmental questions or Prime Minister’s Questions. Written parliamentary questions could also be submitted to help elicit information.
- Letters and questions to Ministers: Writing letters or putting questions to Minsters/officials calling for additional support for community pharmacies (we can help with this).
- Join the pharmacy group in Parliament: Consider joining or supporting the work of the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) in Parliament. To join as a member, or simply find out more about upcoming events, please email: email@example.com
- Visit a local pharmacy: Through our network of 11,000 pharmacies, we can arrange a pharmacy visit to enable you to better understand that challenges and opportunities that pharmacies are facing.
For further information on any of this, or to get in touch, please contact our Communications and Public Affairs Team via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Along with other national pharmacy bodies, we co-sponsor the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Pharmacy (APPG), which we encourage MPs to sign up to. The other co-sponsors are: Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, Company Chemists’ Association, National Pharmacy Association, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
A summary of our current messages:
- Millions of people rely on pharmacies every day and they have a vital role to play in society. Pharmacies act as the front door to many health and care services and as we showcased during and after the pandemic, we have the ability to have an even greater impact on health outcomes. Our aim is to improve the wellbeing of the entire population.
- We want to harness the full potential of the sector by allowing pharmacists to make full use of their skillsets, which would enable us to help alleviate wider pressures on the NHS such as General Practice and A&E. However, for this to be possible, pharmacies must be sustainably funded, supported and empowered. This is not the case currently, with the community pharmacy sector experiencing a 30% funding cut in real terms since 2015.
- More than 90% of community pharmacies’ turnover comes from NHS services paid for by funding from the NHS and Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). As a result of the funding cuts, this means that many are now dispensing NHS medicines and providing other services at a loss. They are also facing a huge rise in costs – for example locum pharmacist rates have increased by 80% in the past 12 months.
- This unprecedented financial pressure means that many pharmacies now have no choice but to reduce opening hours, services and staffing. Without fair and proper funding, some are being forced to close permanently. Unless action is taken, the rate of temporary and permanent closures is only likely to grow. This will add yet more pressure to other parts of the NHS and cause inconvenience and concern among millions of patients.