NHS England (NHSE) has announced that the Pharmacy Contraception Service will launch from 24th April 2023.
This start date for the service has not been agreed with PSNC and is in direct contradiction of our warning to Ministers that no new or expanded services can be rolled out in 2023/24 unless extra funding is put into community pharmacies.
Responding to this announcement, PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:
“We note that NHSE has announced the launch date for Tier 1 of the Pharmacy Contraception Service. This is despite our warning last month that without additional funding, the roll-out of Year 5 additional services and the Pharmacy Quality Scheme is neither feasible nor affordable. Community pharmacies are having to work harder and harder for less money and many are at breaking point. And just this week the results of our 2023 Pharmacy Pressures Survey have confirmed the worsening situation.
Clearly our view is not because contractors don’t see the benefit of the service. This is a much-anticipated service that could deliver real benefits to patients and community pharmacies are always eager to support public health initiatives. But capacity in the sector is now so stretched that more money is needed to safely resource additional work.
We have repeated our concerns to the Department in recent days and reminded them of the potential for a properly funded community pharmacy sector to play a greater role in providing clinical solutions and relieving pressures elsewhere in primary care.”