This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government

Petition Stop cuts to pharmacy funding and support pharmacy services that save NHS money

On 17th December the Department of Health wrote to PSNC to impose a 6% cut in pharmacy funding. Pharmacy provides a crucial network, highly valued by patients, that makes huge differences to their health. NHS services are under strain and pharmacy can only help if the network is secure and strong.

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This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 22 January 2016

Community pharmacy is a vital part of the NHS and could play a greater role. We are consulting on proposals for a more efficient, integrated, innovative system that reflects patients’ expectations.

Read the response in full

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.

We need a clinically focussed community pharmacy service that is better integrated with primary care and public health in line with the Five Year Forward View. This will help relieve the pressure on GPs and A&Es, ensure better use of medicines and better patient outcomes, and contribute to delivering 7 day health and care services. So the Department is consulting on how best to introduce a Pharmacy Integration Fund to help transform how pharmacists and community pharmacy will operate in the NHS, bringing clear benefits to patients and the public.

Spending on health continues to grow, with a £10 billion real terms increase in NHS funding in England between 2014/15 and 2020/21, of which £6 billion will be delivered by the end of 2016/17. We want to focus spending on lifesaving treatments and cures and we expect to spend up to an extra £2 billion per year on new drugs that patients need by the end of 2020.

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. This will involve reductions in the amount of NHS funding for community pharmacies in England. However the sum will remain significant with £2.63 billion of funding for the sector in 2016/17, as compared to £2.8 billion in 2015/16.

The Government believes these efficiencies can be made within community pharmacy without compromising the quality of services or public access to them. In some parts of the country there are more pharmacies than are necessary to maintain good access. 40% of pharmacies are in clusters of 3 or more meaning that two-fifths of pharmacies are within 10 minutes walk of 2 or more other pharmacies. We will ensure that those community pharmacies upon which people depend continue to thrive and so 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.

We want to transform the system to deliver efficiency savings and ensure the model of community pharmacy reflects patient and public expectations and developments in technology. This is the time to embrace developments in technology to provide the best possible service. Prescription journeys are still too often slow and awkward. We want to promote the use of on-line, click and collect or home delivery models, to help patients to get their prescriptions in a way that fits into their lifestyle. This is about ensuring we have a modern, efficient community pharmacy sector offering patient choice, easier access and fit for the future as well as today.

We will also consult on amending legislation to allow independent pharmacies to benefit from remote dispensing processes (known as ‘hub and spoke’) which facilitates more use of automation and increases efficient dispensing processes. This will free up pharmacists to spend more time delivering clinical and public health services to patients and the public.

We are entering into detailed discussions with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee on the 2016/17 funding settlement for community pharmacy in England. In parallel, we are also seeking views on our proposals from across the sector and from patient groups.

In April we expect to have more details of the reforms that will be delivered from October 2016.

Department of Health

MPs debate funding for community pharmacies

Something happened in Parliament that might interest you.

MPs debated the budget for community pharmacies on Tuesday 24 May.

How to find out what was said:

You can watch the debate on Parliament TV:

You can read the debate on the Hansard website:

Who was involved:

Michael Dugher MP led the debate and other MPs took part. Alistair Burt, Government Minister for Community and Social Care, responded to the points made at the end of the debate.

More about the debate:
Michael Dugher MP successfully entered a ballot system for this debate. This is one way backbench MPs can get debates in Parliament.

The debate was an "adjournment debate". You can find out more about adjournment debates on the Parliament website:

Other community pharmacy petitions in Parliament:

You may also be interested to know that three public (or paper) petitions were also presented to Parliament in May on this issue:

You can find out more about public (or paper) petitions on the Parliament website:

There are other ways you can get involved in the work of the UK Parliament as well as petitions.

Find out how to contact your MP or a Lord, contribute to Parliamentary Committees, and search for free Parliament events taking place in your local area here:

MPs debate community pharmacies

On Wednesday 2 November, MPs will debate community pharmacies.

The motion being debated reads:

This House notes that community pharmacies are valued assets that offer face-to-face healthcare advice which relieves pressure on other NHS services; calls on the Government to rethink its changes to community pharmacy funding; and further calls on the Government to ensure that community pharmacies are protected from service reduction and closure and that local provision of community pharmacy services is protected.

You can watch it live on Parliament TV:

The debate is due to start at approximately 12.50pm, but it may start later if there are any urgent statements or questions.

This debate was chosen by the Official Opposition (Labour). There are 20 days allocated each year for non-government (opposition) parties to choose the subjects of debate in the House of Commons.

On 20 October, the Government made a statement on Community pharmacy in 2016-17 and beyond. MPs then asked the Government questions about it.

You can read the statement and questions here:

You can watch the statement and questions here:

Statements are a way for the Government to inform MPs about major incidents, policies and actions. You can find out more about statements here: