Kate Osamor – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Kate Osamor on 2016-04-08.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will carry out an assessment of the potential (a) health, (b) economic and (c) social effects of its proposals to reduce community pharmacy funding.

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 (PSNC) and others, including patient and public representatives, on our proposals for community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond. We announced on 16 March 2016 that the consultation period was to be extended to allow more time to develop the proposed changes with the PSNC and others. It will now close on 24 May 2016.

An impact assessment will be completed to inform final decisions and published in due course.