Lowest number of pharmacies since 2015/16
Daily Express, Daily Mail
Figures released by the NHS Business Services Authority reveal the number of community pharmacies active in England has hit a seven-year low of 11,414 community pharmacies, and the Express asked us to comment.
Note, the figure in the General Pharmaceutical Services report relates to the number of pharmacies that were active at any point during the 2022/23 financial year. This is therefore any inflated figure and we recommend looking at the data for pharmacy openings and closures, which is also available for a more recent period. This shows 10,757 pharmacies at the end of September 2023.
In the Daily Express, Our Chief Executive, Janet Morrison, said:
“Recent NHS data revealing the shrinking community pharmacy network is hugely concerning. The surge in pharmacy closures shows just how critical trading conditions have become for community pharmacies, who have faced chronic underfunding and a 30% drop in real-term funding over the past 7 years. With every pharmacy closure, patients and local communities are impacted, and the strain on nearby pharmacies only gets worse. Government and the NHS must step in urgently to fix these issues and to protect the community pharmacy services that so many people rely on nationwide.”
In the Daily Mail, Our Chief Executive said:
“The closure of yet more community pharmacies is deeply concerning. These figures show once again the emergency situation that pharmacies are in as a result of 30 percent real-term funding cuts in the last seven years and other pressures. NHS and the Government must step in urgently to save community pharmacies before yet more patients suffer the devastating consequences of losing their local pharmacy.”