No impact assessment on cuts that could close 3000 pharmacies

Closed sign on shop door

An impact assessment of the planned £170 million cut to community pharmacy funding in the UK does not exist, Chemist + Druggist reports.

Earlier this year, pharmacy minister Alistair Burt told C+D that an impact assessment of the cuts – which may lead to the closure of up to 3,000 UK pharmacies – was coming “in due course”.

But when Pharmacy London chief executive Rekha Shah sought details of the impact assessment under Freedom of Information laws, the Department of Health wrote to her saying, “an impact assessment does not exist”.

Instead, the planned cuts were “considered in the context of the government’s duty to ensure equality across the public sector ‘and other duties’,” the Department said.

Pharmacy Voice told C+D that the response Shah had received speaks for itself. The organisation has been calling for more details on how the planned cuts were expected to impact pharmacy for some time.

Later, an exchange on Twitter saw Burt respond that C+D’s story was “simply not true. Impact Assessment is being done and will be done”.

The Department told C+D that an impact assessment may not have existed at the time the response to Shah was written, but was always intended to be published “in due course”.

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