In light of the minister for health and social services Vaughan Gething’s recent statement, local accountant Bevan Buckland LLP agrees with Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW) to press for a further increase.
The response comes just weeks after the minister’s announcement to add just 1% more funding. The increase by the Welsh government may see an additional £1.4 million channelled into the sector, but it will still leave the already fraught industry struggling to improve health and wellbeing within Welsh communities.
“With greater expectations on services and the added pressures of Category M Clawbacks, community pharmacies in Wales would have appreciated a better funding rise for 2018/2019. The local pharmacists we represent as clients are very disappointed as they were hoping for an extra £3 million of funding,” said Sara Dennis, Director at Bevan Buckland LLP.
The increase will see each pharmacy receive around £1,600, an amount that many within the community pharmacy sector fear will not support them in addressing the various financial and regulatory pressures they currently face. These concerns come even after the minister’s statement that the extra money “will also secure further changes to the contractual arrangements in 2019-20, to improve quality, medicines safety and the availability of new and innovative services from pharmacies which take pressure off other parts of the NHS”.
The CPW and many clients within the sector also refute the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Welsh pharmacy board chair Suzanne Scott-Thomas’ claims that the funding “will support patient access to appropriate care in the community and make medicines use safer in Wales”.
“The extra £1.4 million definitely falls short of our clients’ and other Welsh pharmacists’ expectations. Sadly this amount will not impact or relieve the pressures they are currently under. We encourage all clients in this sector to seek the financial advice and support they require. Here at Bevan Buckland LLP, we are happy to advise on your concerns as a community pharmacist,” concluded Sara.