In the latest round of spending cuts the Department of Health are turning their attention to pharmacies. With NHS spending on pharmacies topping £2.8 billion the aim is to save £200 million over the next two years.
Campaigners for the pharmacy industry fear that this could lead to the closure of upwards of 3,000 pharmacies out of the current total of 11,700. The worry is that some vulnerable communities may lose out leading to extra pressure on already overworked A&E units and GP surgeries.
The government wants to cut back on duplicated services whereby some towns have multiple pharmacies within a close vicinity of each other. As an average pharmacy receives £220,000 per year from the NHS, the savings could be significant. The Department of Health also want funding strategies to be modernised and performance related.
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