After the government announced to award pay rise to pubic sector workers or public sector pay award, pharmacy trade bodies have expressed their disappointment at the neglect shown towards funding crisis in community pharmacy.
The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) chair, Andrew Lane, said: “Our sector can’t help but feel utterly neglected after seven years of crushing real terms cuts to pharmacy funding, amounting to half a billion pounds, and no hint of any relief to come.
“This week’s public sector pay awards, which include a large number of our health service colleagues, highlight that there’s an unresolved funding crisis in community pharmacy which needs urgent attention.”
“Four months into this financial year, there is as yet no clarity even on current arrangements.”
“After stepping up to tackle Covid and keep the wheels on the NHS, the sector deserves better than to be neglected in this way,” Andrew opines.
“The Government’s agreement to award public sector workers a pay rise this year will feel like yet another slap in the face for community pharmacy teams,” said Janet Morrison, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.
“While we recognise that many of our NHS colleagues will desperately need an uplift in the face of uncontrolled inflationary rises, we are clear that contractors and their teams need and deserve the same help. This is particularly the case as satisfaction with other healthcare services falls off a cliff and pharmacies are being left, as always, to pick up the pieces for their local communities.”
Morrison also said that the PSNC was currently negotiating CPCF arrangements and as contractors would expect, they were pushing very hard on this.
“Government and the NHS have all the evidence they need of both the value of pharmacies and of the very precarious economic situation that businesses are in, and they must now back up their praise for pharmacies with much-needed financial support.”
“We suspect that PSNC must be close to concluding negotiations with Government. Our members have every right to expect some good news soon that community pharmacy will be treated as an essential part of the NHS,” said Andrew.
“We know from credible independent analysis (Ernst & Young) that more pharmacy closures will inevitably result from a continuation of underfunding. It’s high time the Government and NHS England acted to reverse the cuts and save the pharmacy network from irreversible decline.”
On Tuesday (July 19), the government accepted the recommendations from the independent NHS pay review bodies in full.
All NHS staff under the remit of this year’s pay review will receive a pay rise, announced the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Over one million staff under the Agenda for Change contract, including nurses, paramedics and midwives, are said to benefit from a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year backdated to April 2022.
“Pay awards this year strike a careful balance between recognising the vital importance of public sector workers, while delivering value for the taxpayer, not increasing the country’s debt further and being careful not to drive even higher prices in the future,” said DHSC.
“Sustained higher levels of inflation due to very high inflation-driven settlements would have a worse impact on pay in the long run than proportionate and balanced increases now.”
“The government has targeted wider support for the cost of living to those most in need. The pay awards should be viewed in parallel with the £37 billion package of support that has been provided. Most overall pay awards in the public sector are similar to those in the private sector. The median private sector pay settlement – which is the metric most comparable to these pay review body decisions – was 4 per cent in the three months to May.”