Information for politicians

Published on: 30th May 2023 | Updated on: 5th June 2024

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.

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.