PSNC calls for urgent support with rising utility bills

Following the latest announcement of an increase in the energy price cap, PSNC has once again called on the Government to provide urgent financial support for community pharmacies.

PSNC is extremely concerned about the desperate financial situation that many community pharmacy contractors already find themselves in, and rising energy bills will only make this worse, particularly as the price cap doesn’t apply to businesses.

Rising costs, amongst other pressures, were highlighted in the results of our Pharmacy Pressures Survey, but we know that prices have continued to increase since then and that many contractors are now bracing themselves for significant rises in their energy bills. We have been pressing this point in negotiations with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England, pulling together a compelling portfolio of evidence to make our case for a significant funding uplift for the sector.

Unfortunately, the impending change of Prime Minister has meant many important tasks, including finalising the outcome of our negotiations, have been put on hold. Despite this, PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison remains in weekly contact with Government officials on these issues, continuing to stress how dire the situation is currently for pharmacies up and down the country.

Ms Morrison has also written to Ministers about the issues that the sector is facing twice over the past month. At the same time, the PSNC team has been preparing for the arrival of a new Prime Minster and, possibly, a new Health Secretary, so that we can urgently raise the issues with them once again, as well as seeking more support from wider MPs on the matter.

PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“It pains me to say that the financial outlook for many community pharmacies is dire, with as many as 80% of contractors already reporting significantly increased operating costs at the start of 2022. And spiralling utility bills and other cost pressures are only exacerbating the situation.

Inflationary pressures and rising costs are a key part of PSNC’s case to Government about the urgent need for extra funding for community pharmacies. We have been clear that Government must protect these vital healthcare providers from economic pressures that are outside of their control to maintain public access to pharmaceutical care. Rest assured, we will continue to urge Government and the NHS to urgently address the desperate situation that the sector now finds itself in.”

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