A nail-biting wait
Withering wonders what the future holds for community pharmacy
Brexit has introduced a great deal of uncertainty concerning the future ofÂ theÂ of the British economy. InvestmentsÂ are being delayed and the marketsÂ are jittery.
Letâ€™s be honest â€“ we allÂ like certainty.Â Being certain about somethingÂ enables us to plan, to invest and to lookÂ to the future with confidence.Â
So what should we make of the fact that Parliament has broken for its summer recess andÂ the expected announcement regardingÂ the governmentâ€™s plans to cut fundingÂ for pharmacy in England by Â£170 million has not been made?
Could it be that the appointment of a new pharmacy minister means that the plans are on hold, or, better still, will be axed? Or maybe Theresa Mayâ€™s visit to a pharmacy in her constituency during her leadership campaign showed we have a special place in her heart?Â (I wish!)
I have been heartened by the staggering 2.2 million people who signedÂ the petition supporting us, and by numerous patient groups like NHS Alliance, the Alzheimerâ€™s Society and Diabetes UK, Â which, in no uncertain terms, have pointedÂ out to Jeremy Hunt the â€œsignificant risk ofÂ negative consequencesâ€ for patients if the proposed cuts are actually implemented.
But I wonder whether Hunt will listen to them, or even cares. Surprisingly, (some might say miraculously), Mr Hunt kept his job in the Cabinet. Much as we might try to engageÂ in friendly and constructive dialogue with the new pharmacy minister, I canâ€™t shakeÂ off the feeling that any hope we mightÂ have that he will be in a position to change his predecessorâ€™s policy is misplaced.
With Hunt remaining in post there is a frisson of uncertainty about the proposed funding cut, but not much else. I may be biting my nails, but Iâ€™m not holding my breath.
Withering is the pen name of a practising independent community pharmacist. His views are not necessarily those of ICP.