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RPS England writes to Health Committee on pharmacy funding

Prof Claire Anderson, chair of the RPS in England, has written to the Health and Social Care Committee following today's session with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Prof Anderson wrote:

"I welcomed the Secretary of State’s recognition during today’s committee session of the critical role of pharmacists in the response to COVID-19.

"The work of pharmacy teams in the past few weeks has been truly remarkable. Pharmacists and their teams have been on the frontline defending Great Britain against the COVID-19 threat and doing their best to make sure everyone gets the medicines and healthcare advice they need.

"I also noted the Secretary of State’s comment on the 'extra' £300 million funding for community pharmacy in England.

"While this funding was a welcome step in right direction to help with immediate cash flow in the face of unprecedented demand, this funding should not be considered as new money. This is an advance payment and effectively a 'loan' which will be reclaimed at a later date.

"The NHS Business Services Authority noted that, 'This uplift is not additional funding over and above what was agreed for 2020/21 under the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework 5-year deal. The uplift will be reconciled in 2020/21.'

"With rising costs, this alone will not yet be enough to support those pharmacy teams working hard on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. The RPS and others across the profession continue to call for fair funding in the longer-term to help pharmacies keep their doors open to the public."

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