Cormac’s view: Pharmacy Cuts Judicial Review

18th May 2017

Cormac Tobin shares his thoughts on the announcement that the judicial review for the pharmacy funding cuts has been dismissed.

It has been a difficult eighteen months for the pharmacy sector; and with the dismissal of the judicial reviews regarding cuts to community pharmacy funding in England, there’s no chance of a last minute stay of execution.

It’s an understatement to suggest that when the funding cuts were announced we were disappointed; with very little consultation with the sector (something that was highlighted during the review), the cuts appear short-sighted and purely an easy short-term efficiency saving for the NHS without any real evidence to justify them.

The impact of the cuts has already begun but we now must look to the future; how can we adapt to create a successful industry with the ongoing challenges presented to us.

Now is the time to build a new relationship with the Department of Health to educate them about all that pharmacy can contribute to alleviate some of the burden on the NHS and achieve better patient outcomes.

What we do really matters – we forge intimate relationships with millions of patients every day. Because of this we can’t stand still, change will continue and we must find the best way to evolve, ensuring patient care and playing a greater role in public health.

Over the last few months community pharmacies around the country have been working hard to deliver the Quality Payment Scheme; which really showcases that pharmacy can and will truly deliver where the NHS needs us to.

It’s such a tough marketplace with new obstacles always around the corner. To continue on this journey we need to collaborate and support each other. AAH is offering customers a Quality Payment tool to help identify the criteria they are not currently meeting, and through our Careway proposition community pharmacy has access to a range of proven services that provide uplifts across prescriptions, services and retail enabling them to run more profitably,.

Our patients’ desires and expectations are changing, and we must change with them. The healthcare landscape will need to further echo the wider changes in the world, and we are the ones who can define the future by reinventing the role of community pharmacy.

Embracing technological advancements and by creating a healthcare eco-system that operates at the intersection point of the digital and physical world, we will deliver a great patient experience and enable people to live more positive lives. Offering clinical services which we know our qualified and highly skilled pharmacists are capable of delivering will warrant pharmacy playing a greater role in the wider healthcare environment.

It’s the frontline colleagues in pharmacy that continue to do an exceptional job that allows us to be bold and ambitious. I am very excited for what I know pharmacy can accomplish; we need to find new ways of working to ensure exceptional patient-led service and survival of the community pharmacy sector.