Sharpe warns of testing year ahead
PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe has warned that the profession faces â€œanother testing yearâ€ in a New Year message posted on the PSNC website.
â€œWe are working in an increasingly hostile environment and the financial stringencies biting across the whole of the public sector will continue for several years,â€ warned Mrs Sharpe. For the first time this century, negotiations on funding had failed, and both PSNC and the NPA were seeking judicial reviews of the governmentâ€™s decision to impose cuts, she said.
The profession had pulled together â€œlike never beforeâ€ during 2016 to fight against the proposed funding cuts, and Mrs Sharpe thanked all the pharmacies and LPCs that had contributed. Despite these efforts, pharmacy was still threatened by funding cuts and other changes.
The decision by PSNC to take legal action over the consultation on those cuts had not been not made lightly. â€œThe most productive relationships are collaborative and we must ensure that once the legal action is concluded we build a strong basis for working with our NHS colleagues in the future. This will be a major policy objective for 2017.â€
The Murray Review and the Community Pharmacy Forward View would both feature prominently in community pharmacyâ€™s advocacy work in early 2017. The sector must continue to campaign to ensure that the NHS takes these initiatives forward, and that community pharmacy is properly used to deliver greater capacity to primary care, said Mrs Sharpe.