Protecting Pharmacy Funding: PSNC seeks contractor views
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PSNC met last week and considered the critical situation facing many community pharmacy businesses as staffing and other costs continue to rise unchecked.
Our ongoing priority is to make strong and urgent representations to Government to seek an emergency funding injection into the sector as well as relief from business rates.
We are also discussing a series of measures with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England to try to help support capacity pressures, such as a relaxation of opening hours requirements.
However, Committee members also discussed what other steps businesses might need to take in the absence of additional funding.
Many Committee members felt that it is no longer tenable for pharmacies to keep offering all of the free and non-core services to patients that they would like to, and that all contractors should consider what steps they could take to try to safeguard their businesses and their core services for patients.
The Committee is also keen to talk to contractors about their current situation and the steps they might be willing to take in future, should emergency relief not be forthcoming.
Some examples of measures that some businesses are already taking or are actively considering to both protect patient safety and cut costs include:
- Not answering patient phone calls, or only doing so for a limited amount of time each day
- Asking patients to book slots for advice, rather than providing this on a walk-in basis
- Charging for or stopping provision of some unfunded services such as medicines deliveries
Please sign up* to one of our online events to come and hear from and talk to PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison and Negotiating Team Members:
Wednesday 7th December, 19.30 – 21.00 (registration closed)
Wednesday 14th December, 19.30 – 21.00 (registration closed)
*Please note: registration must be in advance, and by 6pm on the day at the latest. If you have any issues when signing up or when trying to access the event, please email Gaby at email@example.com.
You can also watch Janet’s latest video update to the sector here.
Janet Morrison, PSNC CEO, said:
“The pressures on community pharmacies have been unacceptable and unsustainable for many months, but we are now hearing more loudly and clearly than ever before that the situation is rapidly deteriorating. I believe we are approaching the cliff edge: if Government and the NHS do not take action soon, they could be facing very serious consequences in a matter of months.
PSNC met last week for some very difficult conversations about the future. Together, we had an open and honest discussion about what contractors may have to consider in response to the fact that we can’t currently offer everything that were being asked to do within the current funding envelope. Nobody wants to see a reduction in the patient services that pharmacies can offer, but this is now the reality facing many businesses.
Contractors will see us turning up the volume on our vital influencing work over the coming weeks, and alongside that we want to have some really honest and serious conversations with contractors. I very much hope that you will be able to join us one of our webinars to tell us more about the situation for your business and the steps you might be willing to consider taking to protect it in future, as well as to hear about how you can support our political and public campaigning work.”