Community Pharmacy England writes to Select Committee Chair

Community Pharmacy England Chief Executive Janet Morrison has contacted the chair of the Health and Social Care Committee Steve Brine MP following the Committee’s latest pharmacy inquiry session earlier this week (26 March).

At this week’s session the Committee heard from pharmacy minister, Andrea Leadsom MP, as well as from Amanda Doyle and David Webb from NHS England. During the session a number of MPs once again expressed their concerns about the future of the community pharmacy sector, quoting extensively from the evidence that Janet had previously given to the pharmacy inquiry.

Community Pharmacy England was very concerned to hear statements during the session suggesting that the community pharmacy network is thriving: our analysis and the direct testimony of pharmacy owners themselves show the opposite.

Writing to the Chair today (28 March), Janet said: “Our analysis of the accounts of pharmacy companies, which we have shared with DHSC… tells a story of declining performance, loss-making and negative net assets.”

We have also highlighted NHS England Board Meeting references to the fragile state of the community pharmacy sector from October 2022 when Amanda Doyle referenced the large source of not completely tapped clinical resource within community pharmacy, saying: “But the sector is fragile. We made cost reductions to the community pharmacy sector of about 8% between 2016 and 2018, and put a 10% efficiency on the sector in the years since. It stands to reason that if we want the sector to really step up to enable it to widen the part they take in delivering primary care services we do need to consider how we keep that sector sustainable.”

Community Pharmacy England was pleased to give evidence to the Committee’s inquiry earlier this year and thanks all Members of the Committee for considering community pharmacy at this critical time for the sector. We look forward to their recommendations which we hope will underline the critical need for an economically sustainable community pharmacy sector.

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