The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has commissioned global consultancy firm Ernst & Young (EY) to conduct a survey to find out the financial position of the independent community pharmacy as the sector completes a year under the five-year national contract in July.

The EY study will also gather information on community pharmacy’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, the NPA said today (May 26).

Urging members to participate in the survey, NPA Chair Andrew Lane said: “We have asked EY to conduct an economic impact assessment of the funding and policy framework in England,” adding: “It is crucial to our ability to influence government that we get a significant response to this data request.”

“This period (during the pandemic) has highlighted not only the challenges that pharmacy is dealing with, but also the important role that community pharmacy can play in soaking up pressure that would otherwise be put on other parts of the health system,” Lane wrote in a letter to NPA members.

“Ministers and NHS officials say they want community pharmacies to be the first port of call for common illnesses, to help people stay well, to take on more clinical services and to relieve pressure on other parts of the system.

“We believe that this can only be achieved on a sustainable basis if resources match the level of ambition. Therefore, we hope they will welcome this economic study as a serious contribution to the evidence base that underpins the development of health & social care policy.”

The survey will complete by the end of May.

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