Pharmacy cost-cutting figures “just don’t add up”

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The government have been told that their numbers simply don’t add up, as Hertfordshire braces itself for the impact of government spending cuts on pharmacies.

Herts County Council is set to write to NHS England bosses, calling on them to drop their planned for spending cuts.

Councillor Ron Tindall said: “At a time when we are asking pharmacists to do more to take pressure off GPs and A&E departments, the government has introduced cuts to pharmacy funding that fly in the face of economic reality, and which could lead to local community closures.

“Community pharmacists play a far bigger role that many people realise and we need to stop the closure of local pharmacists at the heart of the community.

“Government funding policies are resulting in a breakdown and fragmentation of our NHS and social care services.”

In 2015 NHS England paid £2.8bilion top community pharmacies, but a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers indicated that the benefits to society far outweighed this cost.

These benefits included £1billion to local authorities and other parts of the public sector, and £600million-worth of benefits to patients mainly from cutting their travel times in travelling to hospitals or community pharmacies.

Government ministers have suggested that the spending cuts will mean that up to 3,000 pharmacies close nationally.