John Mann – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by John Mann on 2016-02-03.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of changes in funding for community pharmacies on the provision of pharmacy services; and what steps he is taking to ensure that busy community pharmacists are not forced to reduce their services.

Alistair Burt

Community pharmacy is a vital part of the National Health Service and can play an even greater role. In the Spending Review the Government re-affirmed the need for the NHS to deliver £22 billion in efficiency savings by 2020/21 as set out in the NHS’s own plan, the Five Year Forward View. Community pharmacy is a core part of NHS primary care and has an important contribution to make as the NHS rises to these challenges. The Government believes efficiencies can be made without compromising the quality of services or public access to them. Our aim is to ensure that those community pharmacies upon which people depend continue to thrive and so we are consulting on the introduction of a Pharmacy Access Scheme, which will provide more NHS funds to certain pharmacies compared to others, considering factors such as location and the health needs of the local population.

The Government’s vision is for a more efficient, modern system that will free up pharmacists to spend more time delivering clinical and public health services to the benefit of patients and the public.

We are consulting the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, other pharmacy bodies and patient and public representatives on our proposals.