Survey shows rising costs, medicines supply issues and demand for care pushing NHS pharmacies to the brink
Community pharmacy owners and teams across England are facing increasing pressures as medicines supply issues become a daily issue and more people turn to them for help as they struggle to access General Practice, a national survey has shown.
According to the survey results released by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), 92% of pharmacy staff have cited a significant increase in requests from patients unable to access General Practice this year.
PSNC’s annual Pharmacy Pressures Survey which included the views of the owners of over 6,200 pharmacy premises as well as 2,000 pharmacy team members, have shown the impact of the current pressures on pharmacies and their concerns for the future.
Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:
“The future of our much loved community pharmacies is hanging in the balance – our survey paints a devastating picture of staff under unbearable pressures, and businesses on the brink of collapse. Costs are no longer manageable for pharmacies as their funding falls every year, and there have been far too many of closures of pharmacies across the country already.
As more and more patients turn to pharmacies when they can’t get help from other parts of the NHS, the consequences should pharmacies be allowed to collapse are unthinkable. People and local communities must have access to the medicines and pharmacy services that they need.
We need Government and the NHS to step in and prevent this disaster from happening. The Government should commission a fully-funded Pharmacy First service. Investing in pharmacies like this would not only provide accessible care, but also help put the sector on a sustainable financial footing. They need to save our pharmacies, before it is too late for patients, too late for the public, and too late for the rest of the NHS.”