UK pharmacists speak out against funding cuts

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An online petition to stop England’s 6% funding cut to pharmacy has attracted more than 13,000 signatures (as of January 27), prompting a response from the Government.

“Pharmacy provides a crucial network, highly valued by patients, that makes huge differences to their health,” the petition states. “NHS services are under strain and pharmacy can only help if the network is secure and strong.”

The planned 6% cut to English pharmacy services has attracted significant criticism. British pharmacy publication Chemist+Druggist today reports that 68% of its readers support a strike in protest at the cuts.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society told C+D that the poll results showed the “strength of feeling” produced by the funding announcement.

“It is clear the government wants something different from the sector. Any cut to community pharmacy is short-sighted,” RPS English Pharmacy Board chair Sandra Gidley told the magazine.

The Government responded to the petition by stating that community pharmacy is a vital part of the NHS and could play a greater role; it is consulting on proposals for a more efficient, integrated, innovative system that reflects patients’ expectations, it says.

“The Government believes there is real potential for far greater use of community pharmacy and pharmacists in England: in prevention of ill health; support for healthy living; support for self-care for minor ailments and long term conditions; medication reviews in care homes; and as part of more integrated local care models.”

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