MPs write to Health Minister amid 1,400 pharmacy closures
Dame Priti Patel is among 20 MPs sounding the alarm over pharmacy closures amid “unprecedented pressures”.
Around 1,400 pharmacies have closed their doors for good since October 2016, the group warned health minister Andrea Leadsom.
The warning stems from a letter coordinated by Community Pharmacy England.
Our Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:
“Pharmacies are grappling with financial pressures, staff shortages, closures, and escalating costs. This cannot continue, and we appeal to the new health minister to address these and all of the concerns outlined in this letter. The crucial role of pharmacies in providing essential healthcare services to communities is on the line.
The financial pressures on pharmacies are extreme, and show no signs of improving. We have deep concerns about the financial impact of the increase in the National Living Wage (NLW) for 2024. The announcement of a 9.8% increase will weigh heavily on pharmacy businesses, and we estimate that the additional cost to the community pharmacy sector of implementing this uplift is between £150m – £195m. This will be on top of the 30% reduction in funding the sector has experienced so far. It’s just not sustainable to expect pharmacies to absorb these additional costs. A failure to act to correct some of this will see many more pharmacies closing through 2024.
MPs have rightly highlighted their concerns about the viability of community pharmacies, we are thankful for their support and for recognising the monumental challenges faced by community pharmacies.”