PSNC has rejected the Department of Health’s proposed funding package for 2016/17, which includes "reckless" cuts of 12 per cent that would see services withdrawn.
The DH will now have to propose a revised package, or impose its proposed funding changes on England’s community pharmacies.
Pharmacies would be forced to reduce staffing and cut back on services, as a result of proposals that are "rooted in the government’s professed aim to close pharmacies". said PSNC in a statement
"Community pharmacy has offered the Department costed alternative proposals to reduce the NHS medicines bill, that would save the NHS money equivalent to the cuts demanded." said the statement. "Community pharmacy also proposed new community pharmacy services that would save the NHS money by reducing demand in A&E and GP surgeries. All of these proposals were rejected out of hand."
This year's funding negotiations were not characterised by collaborative working, but presented as a 'fait accompli'. Despite pharmacy minister David Mowat suggesting in September that a decision on funding should be carefully considered, as well as the emergence of significant evidence of the financial benefits of pharmacy services, there was no substantive difference between the current proposal and that announced in December 2015.
"The Department has not published evidence in support of its plan to reduce pharmacy funding. It has not responded to research showing that twelve pharmacy services create an annual £3bn net benefit for the NHS and others by community pharmacies, or research that suggests its approach would hit areas with greatest health inequalities hardest. The proposals will lead to free health services being withdrawn from community pharmacies.
"The proposals are founded on ignorance of the value of pharmacies to local communities, to the NHS, and to social care, and will do great damage to all three."